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Sundance 2016 was mostly dominated by intense dramas like “The Birth Of A Nation” and “Manchester By The Sea,” which made it a little tough for an irresistible little gem like “Hunt For The Wilderpeople” to truly stick out. The film opened in the summer and managed to gross a respectable $5 million, but it’s a coming-of-age romp that deserves way more attention. Fortunately, the film is now on VOD and is our indie pick of the week.
From director Taika Waititi, who’s currently filming Marvel’s blockbuster “Thor: Raganrok” after successful indie hits like “Boy” and “What We Do In The Shadows,” “Wilderpeople” stars newcomer Julian Dennison as a “very bad egg” named Ricky. The story follows the defiant young child’s adventure with his grumpy foster uncle (played by Sam Neill) in the wild New Zealand bush. A national manhunt ensues to find them, and the two are forced to put aside their differences and work together in order to survive.
With one of the year’s breakout performances and the unique stylization of Waititi, “Wilderpeople” is the kind of crowdpleaser that truly slaps a smile on your face that doesn’t quite. Below, IndieWire Senior Film Critic David Ehrlich makes the case for watching “Hunt For The Wilderpeople” on VOD this week.
Want to watch more indie films on VOD? Here are our 6 top picks of the month: