Plot: A group of strangers awakens in a mysterious location, revealed to be some kind of pit or underground room, surrounded by stone. The room is closed off in most ways, but there seems to be a possible escape route above, though it is impossible to reach in their current situation. A clock is present, but it serves to note passing days, rather than minutes and while a generous supply of water is inside the room, there is no food whatsoever. As the shock starts to wear off a little, the group tries to decide what to do next and of course, different opinions run rampant. But who has locked them in this hellish experiment and if anyone can survive long enough to find out, why were these strangers chosen to be imprisoned?
Entertainment Value: Hunger seems like it would be a Saw inspired dark descent into horror, but in truth, the movie is more of a suspense thriller with some light horror threads. The dark, sadistic psychological elements from the Saw series are attempted here at times, but Hunger never commits and we end up with a slow, halfhearted end result. The narrative has promise and presents a “how far will you go to survive” type concept, complete with clear intentions, as the captives face certain death unless some boundaries are passed. I like that premise, but the movie chooses to focus on dull conversations between forgettable characters, broken up by infrequent bursts of tension and violence. This is not a slow burn thriller that ratchets up the tension until it is unbearable, it is more of a just plain slow drama that veers into thriller territory when it needs to liven up the atmosphere. I don’t mind a focus on characters over story or tension, but this assortment is bland and dull, given little depth and brought to life by a mostly ineffective cast. Linden Ashby is here and turns in solid work, but otherwise the performances are basic and unmemorable. A great villain could have worked wonders for Hunger, but that doesn’t happen. Unless you’re a big Linden Ashby fan, Hunger doesn’t warrant much of a recommendation.
A random, humorous sex scene pops in at one point, but all we see is a little of the dude’s ass crack as he plows his partner. The scene features some creepy voyeurism as well, which helps balance out the lack of sleaze. But the group doesn’t spiral into an all out orgy, which is a shame. There are some minor instances of violence, including some splashy stab wounds, but we don’t see all that much. The red stuff gushes however, so at least that is present, even if we can’t see all the kinetic carnage. A theme of cannibalism runs through Hunger and that means some flesh eating, but only one of the scenes has visible violence included. So not much graphic violence, but some nice blood spurts, so there’s that. But for a movie that seems to think it is a dark, brutal affair, this one is rather tame in nature. The dialogue is passable, but not memorable and has no wild or quotable moments at all. No real craziness to speak of either, just a straight ahead thriller with minor horror elements. I wish it would have gone down the darker path it hints at, but no such luck this time.
Overall Insanity: 0/10
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