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The Wild Hunt


A LARP dramedy — that’s new

Rod Lott June 2nd, 2011

When it comes to live-action role-playing — aka LARP — I’ve seen comedies mock it (“Role Models”) and documentaries delve into it (“Darkon”), but never an angst-ridden drama. That's new.

thewildhunt

In “The Wild Hunt,” Erik (Ricky Mabe, “Zack and Miri Make a Porno”) nurses a broken heart left shattered by his too-cute girlfriend, Lyn (Kaniehtiio Horn, “Journey to the Center of the Earth”), who’s left him for another man ... who’s really into LARPing. When Erik can’t stand it anymore, he ventures to the wilderness where one of their games is at play, in an effort to win her back.

I didn’t think the concept would be able to stretch itself into a feature and remain compelling, but director/co-writer Alexandre Franchi has done just that in an increasingly impressive, low-budget debut. While entering a world that is utterly foreign to him, Erik also keeps it at an arm’s length — two arms, let’s say — despite everyone around him doing the opposite. When he finds Lyn, he almost doesn’t recognize the woman he loves: “This is what makes you feel like a princess? Wrestling with foam swords?”

Yes, “The Wild Hunt” is funny, but it’s also a little sad and, in its final few minutes, a lot disturbing. Let these people have their fun, argues one character — this is all they’ve got. It’s the inability to switch off the fantasy that is a painful reality for some. The film’s tone is as such that, at first, I didn’t care for it. But slowly, surely, it hooked me with its odd flow.

William Golding would be, too. —Rod Lott


 
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