If you’re someone who is very radically political, whether it be on the left or the right, and gets offended easily by political satire, then The Hunt may not be for you. As you can tell by that previous sentence, this film is somewhat political as this was one film that I knew was going to be controversial to some based on the premise alone (which I’ll get to in a bit). It’s a good thing, however, that I consider myself a politically moderate person, so I didn’t come into this film with preconceived notions. Is this film as controversial as I’m making it out to be? Once again let’s find out and fair warning ahead of time that this review will contain spoilers.
The plot in The Hunt is pretty simple: it starts off with twelve individuals that wake up in middle of a field not knowing how they got there or why they are there. None of them know each other but they do share a common interest which is that they all identify as right-wing conservatives. Soon after they find a crate full of weapons, someone starts shooting at them, causing them to scatter. Most of these people have no clue whose doing this except for one named Gary (Ethan Suplee). He runs a conservative conspiracy radio show where he once broadcasted a show that identified a group of Liberal elites that kidnap conservatives and hunt them down for sport. Unfortunately for him and the rest of the individuals, that’s exactly what is happening, and the rest of the film hinges on whether or not they will survive being hunted by people share different political views.
Even though I didn’t get offended by the political notions presented in The Hunt, there were things that bothered me in this film, which made it pretty disappointing once I broke it down.
One of things that bothered me in The Hunt was the lack of imagination given to the audience. From the moment this film starts you already know what is happening and who is behind it all, which didn’t give me much of a mystery to figure out. This led me to think of another film, which was Get Out. I don’t like to compare one film to another when doing these reviews, but if there’s one thriller that was able to pull off a mystery that left a lot to the imagination it was Get Out, where in this film they give away too much in the beginning. Another thing that bothered me in The Hunt was the lack of characters with a moral compass. I knew that watching this film I was probably not going to get likable characters, but I thought there would be some that had a sense of morality, and for a moment I had a bit of hope. After a married couple from the liberal elites shoots down three individuals and starts cleaning up the mess the wife made, the husband notices a wedding ring on one of the victims. From there she starts questioning if what they’re doing is wrong, but unfortunately the husband persuaded her that what they’re doing is for the best and from that point my bit of hope was gone.
If there was one character that I did enjoy watching in The Hunt it was Crystal (Betty Gilpin). Out of all the characters in the film, she was not only the toughest but also the smartest person as she had great survival skills and the most common sense compared to the others that were being hunted. I don’t know what it was, but her mannerisms and fighting style reminded me of Uma Thurman’s character from the Kill Bill films, which made the film a lot more enjoyable for me. There’s even a great fight sequence at the end between her and Athena (Hilary Swank), who happens to be the leader of the Liberal Elites and the mastermind behind the hunt. It’s definitely one of the best moments of the film as it starts off on a quiet tone and the tension builds up until a brawl starts to unfold, which very entertaining to watch.
The Hunt is definitely an odd film that I still have mixed feelings on because while I didn’t enjoy the lack of moral values and imagination in the story, I did enjoy a specific character and some clever moments. Without them this would’ve been a film that had me checking on my phone to see how much time was left so I could leave. Like I said earlier, if you’re a politically sensitive person then you should avoid this, but if you can get past all that and want to enjoy a film with B-movie style then it’s a decent watch. I’m just surprised that this didn’t come out closer to the upcoming election, which would’ve hyped this movie even more.