Welcome to our Reference Degustation where we take you through a four course menu of Taika Waititi tastetations. Fourth course: Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Take a break from the relaxing sausage and decide between the holy door pill or form filler pill.

Director: Taika Waititi

Novel by: Barry Crump

Writer: Taika Waititi

Released: January 2016

Budget: US$2.5 million

Worldwide Gross: $22,835,917

Actors: Sam Neill, Julian Dennison, Rima Te Wiata

Thank you to our patrons for contributing to the themes throughout our Taika Waititi Reference Degustation.



There were some moments that were to be expected like Priest Taika and the funeral sermon.


  • Quirky/eccentric tone: Absolutely.
  • Comedy as a way of dealing with harsh realities: Pacific Islanders are funny people so it was hard to discern. You can be a funny person and not be funny. There were many tender moments so it wasn’t using comedy to get out of grief. There are peculiar things that happen that are funny.


Belonging: Ricky Baker is struggling to find where he belongs. Right when he finds home in Bella, the rug is pulled from under him.


  • Childlike Wonder (Precocious kids, The lovable fool): 3 hunters. Oti believes Ricky was the lovable fool but KT does not agree. Ricky was too savvy in the way of the real world but had a sense of hope.
  • Father son dynamic: Through Hec and Ricky we see growth and strength between the two. We know Hec will take on the role of Father. He didn’t want to allow himself and despite his best efforts, he finds it in his heart to love again.
  • He makes a cameo: Priest, of all covered this is the most cameo.
  • Real people as fantasy figures: No.

Breakdown and Analysis

  • We knew what we were going to get and were looking forward to it.
  • Oti didn’t enjoy it as much on rewatch compared to the first time watching.
  • KT enjoyed the representation and feeling closer to home. Hunt for the Wilderpeople is the perfect marriage of the Taikaisms and easily accessible cinema. KT loves that these Venn diagrams can exist.
  • KT highlights the physical and very real emotional survival that both Ricky and Hec went through.
  • There are strong emotional connections that allowed us to feel for all the characters.
  • Ricky is at the epicentre but there are characters within his proximity that have just as much depth as his.
  • Hec was very old man Logan in the way he went around hiding his feelings.
  • We appreciated the lack of funding and services available to Government functions that are expected to do too much on much less.
  • There was a heartwarming reciprocity between Ricky and Hec. Where they have both been through a lot and Hec was not ready to be any happier if it meant he could lose someone. Ricky had his heart open.

Unrelated but vital points

  • Rachel House Bingo!
  • Rewatchability is a bedrock foundation for Oti.
  • There’s never a wrong answer, only wrong people.
  • What Australians try to claim: Pavlova, Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Stan Walker.
  • What Australian do not try to claim: Mel Gibson.
  • KT is a Jamie Foxx law abiding citizen.
  • Seabird by the Alessi brothers has been on repeat in the FYR household.