Running wild isn’t a plan. Hunter Hunter, which is director Shawn Linden’s latest thriller, focuses on a family of fur trappers who stay put when they think they are being hunted by a rogue wolf.
Devon Sawa stars in the horror flick as patriarch Joseph, who refuses to leave despite the unnerving threat. He and his loved ones are so isolated that his daughter Renee (Summer H. Howell) doesn’t even know that people carry identification cards outside of their bubble.
“This is the complete opposite of my family. They are a family that’s been doing what their family’s been doing for generations,” Sawa, 42, exclusively told Us Weekly. “I based this character off of a family I used to know. When I was a kid I used to go to a horse camp up in British Colombia and there was this guy named Bob and his wife, Esther, who ran this ranch. They were like this. They were old school, not going to change. They were very stubborn. That’s what this family is.”
Joseph, who is married to Anne (Camille Sullivan), is “petrified of change,” he added, noting that he can’t relate to being as outdoorsy as his character. “Not so much,” he said. “I moved to Los Angeles when I was 18 and I’m an L.A. guy now. So I had to put a lot of trust in the director to figure out how to be that guy and look authentic.”
Joseph eventually leaves to track down the wolf — but what happens next is a brutal twist that audiences will be talking about long after the credits roll.
“It’s hard to talk about without giving it away, but one of the main things that the director wanted me to know before I got on the plane to do this was he wants the audience to think that I’m going to be the guy at the end that comes back, which is very typical,” Sawa told Us. “It happens in a different way. And it makes it that more powerful. When my character leaves, it gives Camille’s character the ability to be incredibly powerful.”
He added: “Everybody from every department read the script and thought it was great. And then they decided to step up and make it greater. And that’s what they did. Everybody from the special effects team to Camille. It just was perfectly done. It was well executed.”
Sawa’s career has continued to evolve since skyrocketing in the early ’90s. “It’s been such an amazing road and I’m absolutely grateful for the road that I’ve taken,” the former child star told Us. “I went from doing Casper and Little Giants and Now and Then and all of these movies where I loved to be on set and it was a lot of fun. To when I was 15 or 16 and something switched and I realized that it was art and there was something more to it than having fun. And then have the ability to, fortunately, make and reinvent myself with Idle Hands and the Final Destination [films]. And now that kind of fizzled away and now to come back more of the older guy and it’s changing again. It’s been difficult, but it’s been a lot of fun.”
Hunter Hunter, which also stars Nick Stahl, Gabriel Daniels and Lauren Cochrane, will be in select theaters, on Digital and On Demand on Friday, December 18.
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