31 October 2012 5:36 PM, PDT | The Geek Files | See recent The Geek Files news »

After memorably portraying the villainous Green Goblin in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films, Willem Dafoe goes to the other end of the spectrum for the stripped-back, slow-burning atmospherics of The Hunter.

He plays Martin, a mercenary sent by a biotech company to track down what is believed to be the last Tasmanian tiger (also called the Tasmanian wolf or thylacine), a striped marsupial predator declared extinct in 1982.

In the remote wilderness, staying with the family of a man who had gone missing the year before, Martin struggles with basic living conditions and suspicious locals who are less than welcoming to strangers.

Based on the novel by Julia Leigh and directed by Daniel Nettheim, the film presents the raw beauty of the Tasmanian wilderness. And it's raw and visceral in every sense, with unsparing scenes of hunting, killing and death as well as landscapes and wildlife.

There are excellent performances all round, »

- David Bentley

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