Mysteries, thrillers, crime, I live for it. Ho boy, if you saw my Netflix ‘Recently Watched’ you might wonder if I have any joy in my life. Blame my mum and her macabre interests rubbing off on my sister and me.
I found out about this subscription almost a year ago while compiling a list of boxes I’d like to review for the blog. After jotting down a full page of boxes (almost all of them I realised much later don’t even ship to Australia) I found a link to Hunt A Killer, an immersive, on-going spiral of intrigue and insanity (my opinion there), where you’re teamed with a penpal who sends you cryptic shit and basically puts a lot of trust in you, but more about that later..
After a little umming and ahhing to The Evil Assistant, watching one or two videos online to see if it’s worth our time and my money, we decided to see if we would qualify (so much effort is put into these and they aren’t some hugely mass produced box with sponsors, etc, so they have a limit on how many they can make, naturally). We were pretty excited to see we qualified and it could actually be shipped to us! Amazing! Australian isn’t that far away after all! We decided to go ahead and buy a box after seeing some videos and posts stating it was actually very well thought out and not your average C.S.I, see-what’s-coming-from-a-mile-away true crime show. We watch those to wind down. We needed the big leagues, we wanted to use our smarts. We wanted to be unhinged, man.
Now I’m very interested, looked at the prices, which sounded pretty good.. if I was indeed going to like it.
$30US, that’s a great price. With conversion and shipping it’s $55-$56AUD. Damn. That’s a lot for a subscription box that I personally don’t know if I’m going to even enjoy. I mean, I don’t have a paying job, our electricity just went up, I need a new camer-
So I bought the box.
If this is going to be my treat to myself, the camera can wait.
So we waited…
A few weeks later, It had arrived…
Who knew having a penpal would be so exciting!
Alright, let’s start with a little background and setting. Hunt A Killer starts with a welcome letter from a company called Listening Friends of America, an organisation where it puts people (that’s us!) in correspondence with individuals that might be in prison, nursing homes or other care a ‘listening ear’, someone to write to while they’re in isolation and would strike up a friendship. Along with the welcome letter, we received a package and letter from our penpal.
Now because we’ve written all over our letters and ‘gifts’ from our lovely mate, I won’t show you mine, but here’s a picture from HAK’s website-
The Boxes AKA “Episodes” & How To Play
Firstly, everyone receives the exact same boxes, or for a better word, ‘episodes’, as that’s how they play out. When everyone first signs up, they get the same box and it goes from there. People that are in Season 2 (yes, there are multiple seasons) are only there because they’ve been subscribed for a longer amount of time. Everyone has started where you will start.
And of course, we all have the same penpal, John William James, or JWJ for short.
To help you on your journey you will get a journal to write anything you want into (you can see mine in the above photos) and as you go along, you will get other items that will help you figure out what exactly is going on.
Then, you’ll look exactly like The Evil Assistant and me!
The community and players around Hunt A Killer are amazing. You would think that a lot of people would be complete assholes and spoil what’s coming for anyone in boxes behind them, but I have never seen that when I’ve gone to have a peek in the forums or in Youtube comments. There are Youtubers like Will Rogers/ The Haunted Sponge who do great theory live feeds and videos as well as blog posts and websites of others who unbox, take pictures and surmise at what they think is happening. In the forum, everyone uses warnings and white font to hide things; for example, if you receive a photo from JWJ and someone has found some sort of code or source of the photo, it is whited out so you don’t accidentally read it. Of course if you want to or need help, help is there. I think that’s pretty damn awesome.
What REALLY Matters…
You’re probably only reading this to know if it’s worth it; if it’s challenging enough and gives you an immersive experience that you can experience solo, paired or with a group in the comfort of your own home. Let me tell you, it’s incredible.
From a forensic family point-of-view, it is challenging and lets you flex your investigative and curious muscles. You’ll also find yourself going down a rabbit hole looking at things like mythology, rivers, fucking string, so you basically feel like every department of a forensics team! But it’s so fun and exhilarating, and that’s why people – including me- keep coming back for more. In fact, it’s so fun that I’ve actually been putting serious thought into making it a series on the blog, or possibly even starting a podcast for it. I know, you would hear my really awful voice!
It is impossible to get the whole feel and really into the experience from one box. Like the first episode of a tv show, it’s to set everything up and get your brain ticking. Personally, I feel by the third box/episode you will be completely hooked on the storyline of JWJ, what is happening, the items you get, everything. I guarantee it.
Price: $30US with free shipping, $55AUD (estimation only) but click my referral link and you can get 10% off! I even get a box free to Charlie Day-Pepe Silvia about it to you again!
Suited For: That person that ruins every true crime or thriller for you or just loves a real challenge.
Would I Recommend?: Holy crap absolutely.
Some tips and things to keep in mind and remember…
- Keep everything. Keep every envelope, letter, everything. Items are always handy to look back on and some are needed for future boxes.
- Think about subscribing for longer than one box. Like a tv series, the first episode is a setup and gets your brain ticking.
- It’s a great deal if you or a group are looking for a challenge.