Moderator / Reviewer
- Apr 4, 2017
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Ahhh, The Hunt, the last of the pre covid-19 films. I remember hearing about the film over 6 months ago, but it wasn’t till Twitter, Facebook and various forums blew it up that I really paid attention to it. The basic premise is that a bunch of liberal elites are hunting a bunch of “deplorables” (we can thank Hillary for that timeless classic) for sport. Once that little tidbit leaked the entire Internet BLEW up as right wingers got their knickers in a twist, and liberals yelled at the right wingers. The release inevitably got delayed due to the bad publicity and was finally put into theaters literally one weekend before all the theaters started closing down due to the nationwide Covid-19 lock downs. The film has got some new legs as it began to be digitally streamed for all of us cooped up people and FINALLY gets a Blu-ray and DVD release this last week (although we got slightly delayed reviewing it due to the George Floyd incident that sparked nation wide protests. Poor movie seems destined to be delayed).
The funny thing is, that 99% of the bad publicity was an over reaction by people who had not seen the film, but took that little tidbit about hunting “deplorables” and freaked out. You know, the typical twitter reaction. The reality is, story takes its basis from the iconic short story “The Most Dangerous Game”, slaps some left vs. right politics in as the framework, and just has a gory good time with itself. You got that right. This is not some giant ploy by the left to demonize the right. It’s a Jason Blum horror film with guns, gore, dismemberment, and hilariously laughing at both sides of the political equation as it does it.
12 people are randomly (or seemingly so) kidnapped by rich snobs, and then set down in the middle of nowhere and hunted for sport. No one has any idea of what’s going on, but once the bullets start flying, these basket of “deplorables” (yup, they’re all republicans) grab whatever weapon they can find and start fighting back. It was supposed to be an easy game. Give the poor rednecks a few weapons while the puppet masters hunt their prey, but there is a sour apple in the bunch in the form of Crystal (Betty Gilpin). You see, Crystal isn’t just a weak redneck like the rest. She has a particular set of skills (to borrow a phrase from Liam Neeson) and she knows how to use them. And she’s not just content with getting out alive. She wants her pound of flesh, and by golly, she’s going to get it.
In the vein of other “The Most Dangerous Game” inspired film, we already know the outcome. Betty Gilpin does a great job with Crystal, giving her a southern fried flavor that reeks of stereotype, but also making her a bad mama when it comes to combat. She makes the character rough, tough, and just vulnerable enough so that you get to really like her character and root for her to get out alive. Hillary Swank doesn’t have as much of a role, but she hams it up as the clueless “elite” who ends up signing her own death warrant with a joke about “Manorgate” (every other gate was taken, so why not Manorgate?). All in all, this is pure dumb Blumhouse action/horror.
Rated R for strong bloody violence, and language throughout.
• Death Scene Breakdowns - Featurette
• Athena vs. Crystal: Hunter or Hunted? - Featurette
I liked The Hunt WAAAAAAAY more than I thought I would. After all the bad publicity and the constant delays, I figured the movie was DOA, but after watching it, I really had to roll my eyes at the people who jumped the gun and tried to destroy it based upon limited information. If you’re a fan of big dumb fun with lots of gore and wit, the film will do you just fine. If you’re looking to be offended by anything political (even if it’s parody), then you’re probably not going to have as much fun with it. Universal’s Blu-ray release is very solid, with good video, great audio, but a rather meager set of extras. Fun Watch is my personal recommendation.
Starring: Hillary Swank, Betty Gilpin, Ike Barinholtz, Wayne Duvall, Ethan Suplee, Emma Roberts
Directed by: Craig Zobel
Written by: Nick Cuse, Damon Lindelof
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 7.1, Spanish, French DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Runtime: 90 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: June 9th, 2020
Recommendation: Fun Watch