I found it shocking that after The Hunt screening I couldn’t decide who will be more offended: liberals or conservatives. The Hunt’s an equal opportunity offender and that’s what makes it so infuriating to both sides of the deep, well-defined divide. Of course, that also means both sides should get a few good chuckles out of the film’s skewering of their political counterparts.
What’s certain is that horror fans of all political persuasions will gleefully celebrate the generous amount of blood, guts, gore, and severed body parts on display in this hard-R violent satire.
Damon Lindelof and Nick Cuse’s script pits liberal elitists against diehard Trump conservatives. The liberal side of the story’s populated with rich, smug, and self-righteous members of the political correctness police. The conservatives are represented as hate-filled conspiracy theorists with low IQs who watch Hannity and don’t believe climate change is real but do believe in the deep state.
The sanctimonious liberal elites have zero tolerance for deplorables and use their wealth to kidnap a handful and transport them to a shooting zone. The right-wingers wake from their drug-induced sleep confused as to their whereabouts. They’ve no time to suss out their location or circumstances before the hunt officially begins in earnest.
The characters on both sides are disposable one-dimensional stereotypes with the exception of the leaders of both groups. GLOW’s Betty Gilpin is absolutely terrific as Crystal, a calm, cool, and collected – although also quite possibly psycho – member of the deplorables. Nicknamed Snowball by the elites, Crystal’s analytical approach to the problem at hand places her in a category of her own.
It’s pretty much impossible not to go into the film already solidly backing either the liberal hunters or their right-wing prey. Only Betty Gilpin’s character is able to bridge the divide, thanks to her multi-layered performance. (#TeamSnowball)
This loose remake of 1932’s The Most Dangerous Game delivers its political wallop with trigger words and unmistakable cynicism about the current state of America. The final act takes an unexpected twist that’s too convenient and messy. However, The Hunt redeems that loopy twist in a begrudgingly satisfying way with a scene that would have fit snugly in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill.
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This Universal Pictures and Blumhouse Productions release has a legitimate excuse if it doesn’t perform well at the box office. The Hunt was supposed to plop into theaters in 2019 but was pushed back to 2020 in response to mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Unfortunately, its new release date lands it in theaters at the same time most medical experts are suggesting people stay away from crowded places or public areas where it’s likely the Coronavirus can easily spread. Movie theaters definitely fall into the “enter at your own risk” category as the number of cases of COVID-19 continues to grow at an alarming rate. (It’s too bad drive-ins no longer exist in most cities.)
MPAA Rating: R for strong bloody violence, and language throughout
Release Date: March 13, 2020
Directed By: Craig Zobel (Compliance, Z for Zachariah)
Cast: Betty Gilpin, Hilary Swank, Ike Barinholtz, Ethan Suplee, Emma Roberts, Amy Madigan, Justin Hartley, Reed Birney, and Glenn Howerton