Chris Haydon’s review published on Letterboxd:
A whimsical and bittersweet indie which expertly handles tone; beautifully harnessing moments of gut-busting hilarity and gut-wrenching poignancy.
HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE benefits from plush cinematography and a rich visual identity; enabling the sprawling New Zealand bush to become as characterised as our central protagonists.
The chemistry between Sam Neill and young Julian Dennison makes for endlessly engrossing viewing. As they journey onwards and their adventure shifts up through the gears, we see their layers delicately peel away, revealing emotionally balanced and coloured personas.
Taika Waititi demonstrates much strength behind the camera here, too. A series of action set-pieces are fantastically orchestrated, and the intimate character sequences play out with weight and sincerity. His screenplay is of equal calibre; serving up some of the year's sharpest lines and most memorable sideline appearances.
Psycho Sam is my spirit animal...