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Film / The Head Hunter (2019)

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"It's back. Vengeance is upon us."

The Head Hunter is a 2019note  fantasy horror movie. It was directed by Jordan Downy and starred Christopher Rygh as the titular head hunter.

Set somewhere during the Dark Ages, the movie follows a bounty hunter tasked with killing fantasy monsters. He waits for the day where the monster that claimed his daughter's life will show up again, so he can finally put its head on a stake and add it to his collection of monster heads.


The Head Hunter provides examples of:

  • Apologetic Attacker: The Head Hunter shows no mercy when ridding the world of dangerous monsters but when one of them is using his daughter's body to attack him, he takes a second to apologize before decapitating it.
  • Chekhov's Gun: A lot of seemingly irrelevant details as part of Father's daily routine come back for the ending.
    • Early on we see Father catching what looks like a rabbit in a small bear trap. While using the body of that rabbit, The Head gets stuck in the same trap.
    • The ointment Father uses to heal himself is shown to be very strong to the point it can regenerate a nasty wound to the face. When tested on a dead spider, it's brought back to life and it even manages to regenerate again after a seemingly lethal blow. Once The Head is affected by it, it's clear its second death won't stick.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The movie is named after the titular bounty hunter that collects the heads of the many monsters he slays. And also the monster that cuts and replaces the head of its enemies with its own.
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  • Downer Ending: Despite Father's best efforts to kill it (twice), The Head manages to resurrect thanks to a misplaced potion, decapitates Father and leaves his head on a stake while escaping with his body.
  • Foreshadowing: Father gets hurt while preparing a stake for the head of the monster that killed his daughter, leaving a bit of blood which the camera focuses on quite a bit. This foreshadows that his own head would end on that very stake.
  • Minimalist Cast: There's just four characters that show up onscreen and affect the plot. Only one of them has any actual dialogue.
  • Mood Whiplash: After a successful hunt, Father carves a small wooden horse to put on his daughter's tomb. And then he tells her his own horse just died.
  • No Name Given: No characters except the horse Jakke are named in the movie. Even the credits only use nicknames: "Father" for the titular head hunter, "Daughter" for his daughter, and "The Head" for the monster that kills them both.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Most of the movie focuses on its hero's downtime so we never get to see the various hunts alluded to by the large collection of war trophies on his wall.
  • One-Word Vocabulary: The Head can seemingly only say "Body". Its limited vocabulary momentarily changes to "Father" while possessing Daughter's body.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: The Head is able to control the body of its victims but unlike most examples, it needs to get rid of its host's head beforehand. This extends to humans and animals alike, regardless if they are alive or dead.
  • Silence Is Golden: The movie uses this in spades. Father doesn't speak for most of the movie since he lives alone in the middle of a forest far away from other people, with his only company being a horse and the tomb of his daughter. Even when he does speak, it's never for long and always to something that can't answer back.