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TV review: Syfy's 'Hunters' is alienating

TV review: Syfy's 'Hunters' is alienating

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Early in Syfy's "Hunters," a mysterious orange kitten shows up in the home of FBI agent Flynn Carroll (Nathan Phillips) and his piano teacher wife, Abby (Laura Gordon).

Bad and dark and confusing things ensue, but the human characters are so completely unengaging that I could only worry about the orange kitten, and that's ridiculous because the kitten might be a terrorist.

Which would also make the kitten an alien.

See: "The terrorists we're chasing aren't human," the head of the Exo-Terrorist Unit ("ETU") explains to a baffled Flynn, who has been conscripted onto the team. "We call them Hunters." (They "do not come from this world," Syfy helpfully adds.)

Hunters look like us on the outside, but inside they are gross and gooey and have creepy tentacle things. They use sonic weapons to make their victims bleed from the ears and die. I am unclear how rabbits are involved, but there are rabbits, too.

"Hunters," made in Australia, is inspired by the Whitley Strieber novel “Alien Hunter” and features Julian McMahon (“Nip/Tuck") as the cruel boss of a terrorist cell. "Spill my blood and lick it up," he demands of agent Allison (Britne Oldford), who declines.

Allison is paired with newbie Flynn; she needs a new partner because she got her old one killed. Or not. Honestly, I seldom had any idea what was going on in the first hour of "Hunters," which flashes back and forward and features hallucinations and nightmares, with action shot mostly in the dark.

In any case, there were too many alien autopsies to make me inclined to go on to the second of the 13 episodes.

If you watch, do me a favor. Let me know what becomes of the kitten.

What "Hunters" • Two stars out of four • When 9 p.m. Monday • Where Syfy, paired with the Season 2 premiere of "12 Monkeys" 

Gail Pennington is the television critic for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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