If there is ever a movie that is cursed, it’s The Hunt. Originally scheduled for a September 27, 2019 release, the movie was shelved after the Dayton and El Paso mass shootings. The new release date? March 13, 2020. You know, with a whole global pandemic breathing down its neck.
The Hunt introduces us to “Manorgate”, an online conspiracy theory that involves a group of “liberal elites” slaughtering a group of “deplorables” in the style of The Most Dangerous Game. When a group of strangers wakes up gagged and confused in the middle of a clearing, they realize the conspiracy theory might actually be true. Crystal Creasey (Betty Gilpin) isn’t going down without a fight, and her military training serves her well as she attempts to escape her hunters.
For a film that seems like a political powder keg, The Hunt is surprisingly neutral. Neither side comes across particularly well, and the only person in the film you tend to root for is Crystal. It’s also worth noting that Crystal’s political affiliations are never clear.
The Hunt has an ensemble cast, but don’t allow yourself to get too attached to anyone. The body count gets pretty high pretty quickly. The pacing of the film is one of it’s biggest downfalls. Sure, it moves so quickly that you’ll never get bored. You also never get a chance to feel fully invested with any of the characters. Even Crystal, the hero (if there is one) never reveals too much. Did all of the character development wind up on the cutting room floor? Surely they wanted to go at least a little deeper than they actually did?
While most of the fighting and death happened so quickly you could blink and miss it, the final act contained a deliciously campy fight scene. This was what I wanted more of in the movie. This was what The Hunt was missing.
If you enjoy dark comedy and gore, and you’re willing to let some storytelling flaws slide, there’s a chance you might actually enjoy The Hunt. Don’t expect a strong political message. Don’t expect a fully developed story. Just expect some gruesome entertainment for 90 minutes.
You can check out The Hunt for yourself on March 13, 2020.
About The Hunt
Twelve strangers wake up in a clearing. They don’t know where they are, or how they got there. They don’t know they’ve been chosen… for a very specific purpose … The Hunt.
In the shadow of a dark internet conspiracy theory, a group of elites gathers for the very first time at a remote Manor House to hunt ordinary Americans for sport. But the elites’ master plan is about to be derailed because one of The Hunted, Crystal (Betty Gilpin, GLOW), knows The Hunters’ game better than they do. She turns the tables on the killers, picking them off, one by one, as she makes her way toward the mysterious woman (two-time Oscar® winner Hilary Swank) at the center of it all.