Director – Craig Zobel (Westworld, American Gods)
Starring – Betty Gilpin (The Grudge, GLOW), Hilary Swank (The Reaping, Bojack Horseman), and Ike Barinholtz (Suicide Squad, The Twilight Zone)
Release Date – 2020
Rating – 3/5
Tagline – “Decide for yourself”
Way back before the outbreak of Covid-19 I saw the trailer for the politically charged horror thriller The Hunt. The release of the film was delayed due to several members of the community felt that the film was telling citizens to pick up arms against a certain political party. This really made me want to check this one out. Sadly, when it did hit theaters in my area it was soon followed by Covid. I was unable to see it before the theater closed so I waited patiently for it to hit store shelves so I could finally check it out. Before I left on vacation I received the blu in the mail for review and I couldn’t wait to dive into it. I know my intentions was to marathon some indie horror flicks but this is my most anticipated movie of the year so I didn’t want to sleep on it. Thank you Universal for sending it my way.
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a group of strangers that awaken with their mouths gagged in the middle of nowhere. They have no idea where they are but soon find themselves hunted. They quickly learn that the legend of Manorgate – a legend that elite liberals kidnap and hunt working class conservatives, is very much real and it’s their fault that they are participates in this year’s hunt. **Spoiler Alert**
I went into this one expecting a cheesy action horror flick but I found myself rolling my eyes more than not. I find it difficult to dedicate myself to a political party just because I can’t agree with either side 100%. I guess that would be the reason this film felt more goofy than fun. It was still an entertaining watch but the shock value I thought the film would have was not there.
The acting in this one is solid for the most part. Some of the characters are really enjoyable while others were a little more cringy. Honestly, I found the deplorable characters to be far more entertaining than the others. I work retail and seeing how the are represented on film is exactly how they act when we remind them of our mask policy. Ethan Suplee was brilliant in his role, as well as, Wayne Duvall, and Hilary Swank. Their characters, from my experience, was pretty spot on. With that being said, I feel like the elite liberals missed their mark. The writing team had so many stereotypes they could have went with but went with some that didn’t work that well with the story. The cast does a decent job but these characters just don’t have the detail written into them as the deplorables do.
The story for this one reminds me a lot of films like Battle Royale, The Condemned, and even The Hunger Games to certain extent. I love these types of films but the thought of this one having a political satire approach really excited me. The film worked for the most part but I do believe that the ball was dropped on the liberal front. There is so many different angles they could have approached that would have gave this film an even balance. Instead, if feels more focused on making fun of the far right/conspiracy theorists. I liked it for what it is but there is plenty of room in the story for improvement. My favorite part of the film is the crazy dialogue ranging from conservative rants, to “woke” liberals, and even the price of cigarettes at the state level. This movie had a lot of thought applied but is a little one sided.
Finally, the film doesn’t shy away from the blood and gore. We get a few memorable kills that make great use of gore. The practical and visual effects are pretty solid and well worth watching the film to enjoy. Overall, The Hunt is a politically fueled action horror film with some comedy sprinkled in. I can see some of you getting too hung up on the political side and refuse to enjoy it. However, if you can put politics aside and just watch the movie you may find yourself enjoying it. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of moments that made me physically facepalm but I still had fun with it at the end of the day.