Peter Ferdinando as Michael Logan in the British movie "Hyena" (2014)

Peter Ferdinando as Michael Logan in the British movie “Hyena” (2014)

“In Hyena, the bad guys are really the cops, but the really bad guys are Albanians, who traffic in drugs and humans, one of whom they dismember in a bathtub. Coincidentally or not, the recent Liam Neeson feature “Run All Night” involved Albanian drug dealers. In “Taken,” the sex-slavers who abducted the daughter of Bryan Mills (Mr. Neeson) were Albanian. So were the bad guys who went after Bryan’s whole family in “Taken 2.” In recent Bond efforts, notably “Casino Royale,” the recurring bad guy played by Mads Mikkelsen (“Le Chiffre”) comes from Albania, and Lord Voldemort, of all people, takes refuge there in the Harry Potter books. Now we have “Hyena,” which paints Albanians with a particularly black brush. Is it just Albania’s turn? Russians were all the rage in the ’60s and ’70s, Arabs had their moment in the ’80s, ex-Yugoslavs in the ’90s. Albanians are probably popular now because fewer people know much about them, they sound exotic, and they don’t have a very visible anti-defamation league working on their behalf. The woman who answered the phone at the Albanian consulate in Manhattan said, “There’s no one here,” in response to a request for official comment. There was no response to our email. “The Wall Street Journal

“Like Al Pacino’s Tony Montana in “Scarface,” Mr. Ferdinando’s Michael fortifies his failing courage by snorting coke as his fateful rendezvous with the Albanians approaches. The anesthetic effects of that white powder are his only protection. Warning: “Hyena,” like that cocaine, is bad for you.”.  The New York Times

“Seedy, unsettling, and nightmarish, director Gerard Johnson crafts a suspenseful and anxious journey, despite the the fact that the destination is obvious and well known. “Hyena” may not be wholly original, but its cancerous tenor positions many of its various talents as ones to watch.”

“As good as the actors are, what makes HYENA really exceptional is the strong cinematography by Benjamin Kracum, which makes it look moody without ever being derivative, and the excellent score by veteran UK band The The, which ranks among the best of the year so far.”

“Hyena is one of the more thought-provoking crime films in some time that chooses to explore the various levels of corruption and tiny evils committed on a daily basis and how those seemingly innocuous choices eventually lead to a total devolution of morality. Michael, just like the Albanians and the Turks he turns his nose up at, are products of an unforgiving environment that breaks down any semblance of humanity if you let it.”