“Hounded” is the story of a robbers’ gang – three young men and a girl. One night, they fall into the hands of the owners of a mansion they’ve just tried to rob. But instead of getting to a police station, they end up on the fringes of the estate, hauled away by blasé aristocrats who decide to play a game with the thieves. The rules are simple: whoever survives the hunt wins. Kids, who’ve already had a tough life, chased by hounds and maniacs on horseback, have to cross all their boundaries so they don’t become trophies or antlers on the wall. In addition to fear, excruciating pain, and humiliation, the four robbers will have to endure the contemptuous remarks of the “hunters,” who regard the four robbers as subhuman, members of the “working class,” who have everything handed to them on a plate and still reach out their hands for what doesn’t belong to them.
The theme of the more privileged hunting for those considered useless has been present in the cinema almost from its beginnings. In 1932, the horror film “The Most Dangerous Game” premiered, in which the demonic rich man hunted for the passengers of a yacht who were stranded on his island. Since then, Hollywood has spat out countless variations on the subject (“Hard Target”, “Tenement”, “Predator,” or the recent “The Hunt”). The subject of hunting gives the creators an opportunity to raise uncomfortable social topics and to reflect on which harassed groups are generally pushed to the margins. And it is no different in “Hounded”, the debut thriller of Tommy Boulding, who refreshed the topic of hunting and “dangerous play” daringly, combining macabre and tension with social commentary on British classism and the approach to immigrants.
In “Hounded,” the action doesn’t slow down even for a moment, and the grotesque is skilfully mixed with tension. The performances of Malachi Pullar-Latchman, Nobuse Jr, Hannah Traylen, and Ross Coles, who play the roles of robbers thrown to the wolves, are also impressive. Samantha Bond, the leader of the bloodthirsty nobles, deserves a separate mention. This is an unusual role for her because she is mostly associated with Miss Moneypenny, her role in the Bond movies with Pierce Brosnan, as well as numerous films and costume series in which she’s not at all bloodthirsty. Casting her in “Hounded” was a great choice.
directed by: Tommy Boulding screenplay: Ray Bogdanovich and Dean Lines starring: Samantha Bond, Malachi Pullar-Latchman, Nobuse Jnr, Hannah Traylen, Ross Coles cinematography: Martyna Knitter editing: Tommy Boulding music: Abi Wade and Joel Wells language: English subtitles: Polish