Not to be confused with the Thomas Vinterberg movie, The Hunt is a Blumhouse thriller where liberal elites take cancel culture to the extreme by hunting conservative “deplorables” for sport.
Ironically the film was almost cancelled, first as a result of mass shootings in August 2019 and then because of the pandemic. Donald Trump also tweeted about the unseen movie, accusing liberal Hollywood of racism and inciting violence. As with everything Trump tweets, this proved to be untrue.
Co-written by Damon Lindelof (week off?), The Hunt is surprisingly even-handed: the right-wingers accuse babies of being crisis actors; the left go after their political opponents’ grammar. It’s not Lindelof’s fault those aren’t moral equivalents, and while not particularly clever it’s still preferable to the humourless Purge franchise.
Though it quotes Animal Farm, the film fails as satire because there’s not really anything allegorical about Republicans and Democrats fighting each other; it’s basically daily reality. This leaves the talky stretches between the fun, gory action sequences floundering, without enough ideas or characters to sustain itself.
However GLOW‘s Betty Gilpin excels as the only character who isn’t a political caricature, putting her wrestling training to good use and giving facial expressions that warrant the price of admission (metaphorically speaking). If anyone at liberal Hollywood is reading this, please make a movie with her and Samara Weaving.
Essentially a mashup of The Most Dangerous Game, Kill Bill and countless others, it has all been done before and done better; this is another film that emphasises the brilliance of Ready or Not. And though it’s refreshing to see liberals skewered alongside rednecks, 1995’s The Last Supper had a far sharper execution.
The Hunt is a passable yet limp picture about the polarisation of Trump’s America. Let’s hope the sequel is less violent for a change.