Tribeca 2024 Review: A FAMILY GUIDE TO HUNTING Is a Blast

Margaret Cho, Keong Sim, Kahyun Kim and Craig Newman star in a macabre horror-comedy short film, directed by Zao Wang.

Managing Editor; Dallas, Texas, US (@peteramartin)
Tribeca 2024 Review: A FAMILY GUIDE TO HUNTING Is a Blast

Watch out where you point that thing.

A Family Guide to Hunting
The film enjoys its world premiere at Tribeca Festival. It screens again on June 15 and June 16.

Opening with an arresting image is a great way to start any film, and that's especially true in a short film that runs just 15 minutes.

Directed by Zao Wang, A Family Guide to Hunting swifty establishes the titular family: parents June (Margaret Cho) and Sam (Keong Sim), who are camping in the woods with their daughter Eva (Kahyun Kim) and her boyfriend Peter (Craig Newman). Ostensibly, they are hunting.

They may be dressed for hunting, complete with bright orange vests and rifles at the ready, but none of them appear to be experienced hunters. Instead, they come across as city folk who are trying something new. For the parents, it gives them a chance to spend time with their daughter and evaluate her boyfriend, whereas for Eva, it gives her an opportunity for an intimate encounter with Peter, which does not go as she had hoped.

It's not fair to give away anything more of the narrative, but as a film, it is quite impressive. Director Zao Wang, who is credited for the script alongside Carmiel Banasky and Tom Toro, has made several short films over the past 15 years, as well as the feature film The Precipice Game (2016). Our own Andrew Mack reviewed the director's short film Ghost Daughter back in 2014, calling out the opening shot (?!) for its beauty, while our own Benjamin Umstead saw the director's werewolf-themed short Honeymoon Suite at Tribeca back in 2013, noting the film's "good sense of humor and strong sense of atmosphere."

With the punchy, funny, and quite bloody A Family Guide to Hunting, the director displays continuing creative growth. I can't wait for his next film; hopefully, it will be a feature.

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Craig NewmanKahyun KimKeong SimMargaret ChoTribeca 2024Tribeca Film FestivalZao Wang.

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