THE HUNT (15)
D: Craig Zobel
Universal/Blumhouse/White Rabbit (Jason Blum & Damon Lindelof)
US 🇺🇸 2020
W: Nick Cuse & Damon Lindelof
DP: Darren Tiernan
Ed: Jane Rizzo
Mus: Nathan Barr
Betty Gilpin (Crystal Creasey), Hilary Swank (Athena Stone), Wayne Duvall (Don), Ethan Suplee (Gary), Ike Barinholtz (Staten Island), Emma Roberts (Yoga Pants)
The Hunt is another variation on The Most Dangerous Game, a plot device which has been done in many different incarnations since the dawn of cinema, more recently as The Hunger Games series of films, but there are plenty more should you choose to look for them.
This one satirically sets itself up as an army of liberal elites versus a group of republican rednecks, with a group of strangers waking in a clearing to be picked off one-by-one by an unseen enemy.
We initially follow two unnamed characters who are hinted to be the main protagonist, but following two "psyche" moments, our real heroine is Mississippi girl, Crystal Creasey, an ex-forces soldier whose survival skills prove to be her trump card.
Unfortunately, I had many problems with this film, the main one being that I really couldn't care less about American politics and the parallel being made, especially when the film hides behind the facade of being a satire to disguise how ridiculous it all is. I also thought the film started wrong, focusing on the lives of the elite rather than the group who we're intended to root for, and even when it becomes apparent who the main protagonist is, I found her character and mannerisms so unlikeable that I really didn't care if she survived or not.
Still, like all of Blumhouse's films, it was made on a relatively small budget which it will easily recoup, and will certainly find some appeal amongst general audiences, especially those in America.
The film was initially planned for a 2019 release, but was pegged back a few months due to a mass shooting and the controversy that followed.
The film itself isn't particularly controversial, it really isn't clever enough for that, despite really trying to be with its buzzword, faux-PC script. Unfortunately, it's all rather dumb.