Not to be confused with Steve McQueen’s masterpiece, the Hunger in question is a Fangoria Frightfest entry. Murder intent fuels its typical horror plot, where six strangers wake to find themselves in a dry well as unwilling subjects of a twisted experiment.
The sextet gradually reveal potential reasons behind their captivity and at the same time, their varied personalities. The manipulative, the fearful and the rational find commonality in their past. Five has committed murder despite reluctance. An unfortunate control subject joins the team… So far, so Saw.
But forget torture devices. There is a little twist to the game. In 30 days, they will starve to death, unless they kill. Any form of violence is a choice they have to make. Hope starts to diminish as the pain of hunger starts to take its toll. Cannibalism becomes an increasingly tempting option.
In face of desperate deprivation, how far are you willing to go? The abductor finds his voice in writer L.D. Goffigan, who explores human psyche in the face of scarcity and withdrawal. The script is not exactly strong, nor do the visuals aid in upping the ante in the horror genre (due to a visibly low budget). But the gradual unfold of an intriguing mystery sustains on a tightrope of lasting tension in the atmosphere.
Hunger, despite its technical flaws, thus ends up an interesting study in the questions it poses: How much is morality worth? Is murder justified if it preserves the life of another? Would you kill another to survive? A fatal game built to scare shows great potential in baring humanity’s raw limits.