Netflix’s Heart of the Hunter looks like an explosive conspiracy thriller in its first trailer

The movie poster for Netflix's Heart of the Hunter
(Image credit: Netflix)

If you're looking for a tense suspense thriller, Netflix's upcoming The Heart of the Hunter promises to deliver just that – and going by the first trailer, which has just been released (see below), it's a definite must-add for your watch list. 

The film, a Netflix Original that's part of the best streaming service's collaboration with South African talent, is based on Deon Meyer's best-selling book of the same name. It's the story of Zuko Khumalo, a man whose mission to save his family escalates into a battle to prevent a corrupt politician from becoming President. 

The book was named one of the best thrillers of 2004 by the Chicago Tribune, was long-listed for what's now known as the Dublin Literary Award and won the international category in the Deutsche Krimi Preis, so the adaptation could be smarter than the average actioner. 

What is The Heart of the Hunter about?

The setup does sound rather familiar: Khumalo appears to be an ordinary, unassuming family man, but he has a violent past – and when an old colleague calls on him out of the blue, it's clear that the past is still very much part of his present. Will he resist being dragged back into his old life? Will he realize that the only way to protect his family is to fight for them? Are the odds stacked against him?

It's safe to assume that the answers are yes, yes and yes. But the novel was praised for taking a fairly standard setup and doing something more interesting with it – Publisher's Weekly said that "the freshness of the context and the emotional complexity of the hero's journey are ample compensation for readers who want a more thought-provoking spy story", while book trade bible Kirkus Reviews said that it had a "wonderful setting" and a "rich, colorful cast, headed by a valiant/vulnerable protagonist who makes empathy easy". 

With the critically acclaimed character actor Bonko Khoza in the lead role alongside a who's who of iconic South African actors, and with award winning director Mandla Dube running the show, this new Netflix movie could be something special.

The Heart of the Hunter will be streaming on Netflix from March 29.

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Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.