Nightstream Film Festival Capsule Review – ‘AV: The Hunt’

by Rachel Bellwoar

AV: The Hunt
Directed by Emre Akay
Written by Emre Akay and Deniz Cuylan
Like Hunted (which also streamed at Nightstream), AV: The Hunt is about a woman being tracked through the woods by a group of men who want to kill her. In Hunted, though, the men were strangers. They attacked Eve because they could. Here’s it’s personal. Ayse (Billur Melis Koç) cheated, and while the details of that affair aren’t defined, for the limited screentime Alyse’s boyfriend (Kenan Acar) has, he makes an impression.
It doesn’t matter how serious their relationship was, though. Cheating isn’t grounds for murder, yet whether that’s even the only reason Ayse’s husband (Ahmet Rifat Sungar) has for wanting to kill her, in AV: The Hunt Eve’s family didn’t know she was in trouble. Eve couldn’t call for help. With Ayse, it’s not that her family don’t know what happening to her. It’s that they’ve sided with her husband. “Honor killing” and “murder” are treated as two separate things and Ayse is on her own.

The film, which was shot in Turkey, makes use of some great locations (including a cave) and I love the internalized moments, like a quick scene where Ayse’s grief and loss gets acknowledged. It’s not something action movies always make time for but Ayse has a nightmare about her father (Yilmaz Erdem), for example, and it opens up this whole relationship that the film didn’t have to explore (think Rabbit and Carrie’s relationship on the TV show, Banshee). It pays off, and even the fact that she saw him in a nightmare has consequences later on in the film.
Nightstream ran from October 8th to October 11th.

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