The Hunt movie poster

The Hunt

In theaters March 13, 2020


, ,

89 minutes

Directed by:

Starring: , ,

I’m here to offer our readers an opposing opinion (from my colleague MontiLee) to the warm critical response of Blumhouse’s political, satiric gore-fest The Hunt. I didn’t hate it, but it is deeply offensive in the most delicate of times.

You might have heard The Hunt is about liberals hunting and killing conservatives, which is most likely because the President tweeted his disapproval of the film late last summer. The film suffered some bad press and some bad timing and was subsequently delayed. Damon Lindelof, the film’s writer and producer, was shocked it wasn’t wholly scrapped altogether. I’m in that same boat.

The Hunt is definitely about a small group of wealthy liberal elite-types brutally murdering working-class conservative men and women. The film’s baddie Athena (Hilary Swank) refers to the prey as “deplorables,” but as we’ll eventually discover, are selected primarily because of their preponderance among right-wing conspiracy theorists. We meet the unconscious victims aboard a private jet bound for who-knows-where. They are dropped in an open field and given weapons to defend themselves. They don’t know why, they don’t know where, and they have no clue their hunters are about to pick them off one-by-one. Some of them manage to escape the initial massacre only to discover things aren’t as they seem wherever or whomever they turn to for help. One of the victims, Crystal (Betty Gilpin), a nondescript car rental employee, is much more conscious of and vigilant (and apolitical) than her counterparts. She turns the tables on her hunters and tracks down Athena to avenge her captivity.

The problem I have with The Hunt is its opportunistic cash grab in a time of deep ideological divide. To be clear, I am not missing the point. Yes, I know liberals can be superficial, self-righteous elitists. Yes, I know conservatives can be paranoid, loutish knuckleheads. But these stereotypes cut both ways. The Hunt is a film with a compelling message about the ridiculousness of partisan politics; however, the players get reduced to caricatures you can’t take seriously. And while the movie does a hilarious, if not obvious, job pointing out absurdities on both sides of the aisle, it’s still a movie full of hate, with one party salivating to see the other die in a game of sport. I’m a fan of vigilante violence movies and a big fan of satire, especially bold social commentary, but this seems wrong.

Perhaps I’m just a snowflake.

The Hunt is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Chris Giroux
Chris Giroux is founder and editor-in-charge at Movie Reelist, an entertainment news and review blog serving the most fanatic moviegoers. Chris started his publication in Detroit in 2010 and has since reviewed hundreds of films and interviewed numerous talent across the country. He is an avid film festival attendee and red carpet photographer, having shot the likes of Steven Spielberg, Bill Murray, Mark Hamill, and more. Chris grew up in New Mexico, where he studied mass media writing while working in post-production and multimedia authoring. It is also where he discovered Big Trouble in Little China and Escape from New York, resulting in an unhealthy Kurt Russell obsession.

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