Now here’s a surprising treat from Canada – The Wild Hunt, an indie thriller and film festival favourite in which The Lord of the Rings goes all Lord of the Flies on unsuspecting viewers. The film delves into the world of LARPers, or live-action role-playing gamers, as geeky Erik Magnusson (Ricky Mabe) tries to reunite with his estranged emo girlfriend Evelyn (Tiio Horn), who has dumped him for a fellow gamer.
Following her into a medieval viking re-enactment game taking place north of Montreal, Erik refuses to participate in character and soon becomes an unwelcome disruption. But his brother Bjorn (Mark Antony Krupa), who still clings to the imagined glory of his Icelandic ancestry, deems Erik is the chosen one who can free the land from an evil king. But first Erik must save his princess who has fallen for charismatic clan leader, Murtagh. Reality and fantasy then collide as the good-hearted game quickly degenerates into something much more serious… and ends in tragedy.
This wonderfully entertaining debut from Quebec film-makers Alexandre Franchi and Mark Antony Krupa is a crazy twist on the medieval/fantasy genre, blending modern reality with mythical folk lore.
If you thought Dungeons & Dragons produced weirdos and convention trekkies were total obsessives, then wait til you see these medieval characters in action. And so well crafted is the script, that you really find yourself drawn into the mythical world as much as the real. It so makes me want to revisit George Romero’s 1981 oddity Knightriders (about a travelling rennaissance fair troupe) – and who knew there was such a thing as Mexican vikings. I give it 5-stars just for being so inventive.