Directed by: Ryan Gibeau, Crystal Arnette
Written by: Ned Donovan, Joe Pietropaolo
Genre: Musical, Action, Comedy
NEED A REVIEW?
Click here to get one.
The Hunted: Encore!
The setup? A documentary filmmaker follows along with a group of vampire slayers. An excellent excuse to save a little bit of cash for a micro budget web series. Correct? Believe me when I write that I'm not a fan of found footage/documentary style productions. Mostly due to the fact it takes literally zero talent to hold a camera or phone and shoot. The world of today it seems. But - In the case of The Hunted: Encore, it seems I may have to recant my dislike for the cameraman at the office - even if only a little or in select cases. This series is one of those few cases. The style added a sense of comedic and musical timing that I found myself enjoying. This style of filming, mixed with a more traditional locked off approach sometimes, felt right at home with the story being told - and also allowed for some funny interactions with said documentary filmmaker. All in all, in this case, the style works well.
The basic concept is simple. A bunch of slayers joining forces to beat a bunch of vampires. Season 1 offers the laughable idea of vampire clones; by laughable I mean funny of course. Season 2 is the more traditional, enemy of my enemy scenario, and has the bloodsuckers joining forces to defeat the growing slayer collective. Sub plots include a friend turned vampire and half human half vamp hunters. Nothing terribly new to anyone who enjoys the genre. What is cool about The Hunted: Encore is that it's a musical. Lock. Stock and two pointed swords.
Mostly, the format comes down to an episode a song - including a few changed arrangements of previous songs - and they are all damn good. If it's safe to say they saved money by using the documentary filmmaker ploy - it's also safe to say they put it into the music. There's nothing cheap here. The numbers are recorded excellently and are even (gasp) fun songs to listen along with. Some are better than others, but all are top notch. Your favorites will no doubt come down to your musical preference. The Hunted: Encore aims to be a musical - and is just that. A good one.
Season 2 felt much more polished and contained 2 of my favorite tunes - yet season 1 was not bad by any standard. Both were good but obviously season 2 was superior.
I would also like to put out my appreciation for a mixed camerawork approach. Having some really nice cinematography in certain scenes, to compliment the following filmmaker style, really allowed an easy way to shed the "cheap" web series perception. It also allowed our filmmaker friend to continue to tag along, and keep The Hunted at a certain level. Hell - Even the fight scenes had some excellent choreography - as did the musical numbers themselves. Not all fight scenes were equal, but for the most part well done.
To be blunt? I came in expecting a lower class version of the musical episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I came out a fan. Need anymore be said? The writers, directors, cast and crew all deserve a standing ovation in my books. Here's hoping for a third season.