Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. Waking up bound and gagged in a rural wilderness, a ragtag gang of ruffians find themselves prey to a team of well-off hunters, determined to punish the underclass for their distasteful ways. But more importantly, it's a question of sport. Well, with fox hunting now banned, what's a Tory to do?
The distant British cousin to The Hunt, Tommy Boulding’s Hounded arrives to less pomp and circumstance. Ambushed while burgling a stately country manor (thanks to a tip-off from a cameoing Larry Lamb), a gang of thieves are kidnapped by the aristocratic residents and forced to play a game. A most dangerous game, if you will. Jeeves, release the hounds.
Both rich and poor are well-cast, with Samantha Bond and James Lance (Trent Crimm; The Independent) among the upper class, and Malachi Pullar-Latchman and Hannah Traylen their likable, plucky would-be prey. The politics of it is obvious but timely, and, sadly, not all that implausible, speaking to the class anxieties of twenty-twenties' Britain.
While the action is limited by the low budget, this stripped-back chase movie gets the job done, delivering catharsis and heartbreak in equal measure. Dropping at a time when the divide between rich and poor has never been so pronounced, Hounded is on-the-nose but effective.