In the pale blue light of dawn, John Moon leaves his trailer along with his dog and a shotgun. As he makes his way into the wooded mountains, he passes a sign prohibiting hunting and fishing. He takes aims at a deer in a thicket and misses once before raising his gun again.
Shortly afterwards, a young woman lies dying in the mud, and Moon finds a letter and a large sum of money. From this point on, the hunter has become the hunted.
David M. Rosenthal's A Single Shot tells the story of how the panicky cover-up of a hunting accident descends into a seemingly never-ending nightmare. John Moon, played with dedication by Sam Rockwell, finds himself cornered like a wounded animal by rednecks, criminals and dodgy lawyers as he desperately tries to undo the past, win back the wife and child who left him and regain a foothold on his father's lost farm.
The camera’s long focal depth narrows out the spaces to effectively trap the actors within them, just as the bleak winter colours intensify the impression of being in the grip of a nightmare so all-consuming that your legs seem to buckle beneath you.