From the Recesses of Netflix: Hunger (2009), Lookback/Review

The first in an ongoing series of lookback/reviews at movies that we will be pulling from the dark recesses of Netflix. Hunger (2009) is up first.

This series will be exploring some of the more questionable films found on Netflix. Now we’re not saying Netflix doesn’t have good films. But it also has a great deal of questionable content. All one needs to do is browse the science fiction/fantasy and horror film sections to find some of these gems and those are precisely the movies we will be reviewing in this ongoing feature


Hunger (2009)

To be honest, this one wasn’t too bad. Hunger falls squarely within the torture porn genre of films and was clearly influenced by movies like Hostel and Saw. Some of the murder scenes in Hunger (beating people to death with human bones) remind us a lot of Cannibal Holocaust (1980). The plot of Hunger is very simple: a man has kidnapped five strangers to use then in an experiment on the affects of starvation. We don’t think this particular experiment would pass any Internal Review Board. But that’s ok. Our “scientist” seems like just some guy trying to deal with his own childhood issues. Oh, we forgot to mention, our “scientist” in Hunger was in a car accident with his mother. Not only does he end up stuck in the car for a couple weeks, he engages in just a little bit of cannibalism. Although, we kinda wonder how this kid was able to filet his mother but not get out of the car. But that would be a silly point that would just get in the way of the plot. Anyway, as one would expect, in HUNGER, our kidnap victims begin to starve. In a sadistic measure, the kidnapper has provided enough water in order for them to survive for months, as they starve.

So we wait. And wait. And they become skinny, dizzy, lose their minds and finally resort to murder and cannibalism. One of the kidnap victims in Hunger is a doctor. And she narrates in excruciating detail the process of starvation. And she is able to tell us exactly what the knife the kidnapper has thoughtfully providedd is used for (cutting up delicious humans). Of course, they begin to murder each other and engage in cannibalism. Omnomnom. And, after they have nurtured themselves with some tasty human flesh, two of them have some weird sex. We think that maybe they should be saving their energy, but anyway. The murders continue and people start going mad; our favorite blonde doctor (the last girl) locks herself in the room with all the water. The only other two people who are left are the aforementioned lovebirds. So the lovebirds turn on each other and lady lovebird is killed. That’s when the doctor, who is starving because she refuses to eat human flesh (prude), kills the male lovebird (who has been a huge jerk for the whole movie. Honestly. We would have eaten him first). Then, the scientist swoops in, not to save her, but to figure out what the woman has written in blood on the top of the water container. Of course, that’s when our last woman finally kills her captor and escapes. The ending of Hunger is very ambiguous and we are left wondering if she will survive to get help.

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So how was Hunger? It actually wasn’t bad. Hunger was disturbing, which is a good start. Hunger is a film that a fan of horror would really appreciate. The closed in space creates a discomfort verging on claustrophobia. And the further discomfort of watching the victims starve is squirm inducing. Especially contrasted with scenes of the kidnapper eating and drinking. Our kidnapper says almost nothing throughout the entire film. He just takes notes. It’s distant, cold and evil. He clearly has his own issues with what happened to him as a child, which really isn’t that evil. So it would be interesting to know what pushed him down the route of kidnapping people so he can watch them eat one another. Is this a way to justify and forgive himself? So if you enjoy this kind of horror movie, you’ll enjoy Hunger. Now, if all you do is dabble in horror, you will probably find Hunger pretty cheesy.