The third day of Austin’s 26th annual SXSW Film Festival has come and gone, and I am fortunate to continue to see a good, nay, great movie every 24 hours. Friday featured the long-awaited and highly successful premiere of The Cabin in the Woods. Saturday floored the packed house of the Paramount with the unnerving Killer Joe. Sunday had three strong contenders for the “Film Champion of the Day” trophy on my docket—The Hunter with Willem Dafoe; The Do-Deca-Pentathlon from the Duplass brothers; and Nature Calls starring Patton Oswalt.
First up was the Tasmania-based drama The Hunter. Shot entirely on the Australian island, director Daniel Nettheim’s gripping film stars Willem Dafoe as Martin David, a hunter-for-hire out to catch the elusive and rare Tasmanian tiger. The film plays out much like lone assassin films of the past—Dafoe has no family, no past, and no friends of note. He’s sent from place to place to do a job and that’s all he does.