- Directed by Craig Zobel
- March 11, 2020 (UK) / March 13, 2020 (US)
When twelve strangers wake up in a clearing the hunt is on!
I find myself confused by this film. Not by the narrative because it is straightforward but what was the point of The Hunt? It is supposed to be a dark comedy and perhaps a satire but exactly who or what was it satirizing? There are two distinct groups portrayed in this film and neither one seems to be the focus of the satire. If this was trying to make some kind of political statement I’m not getting it. At the most I might be able to glean this is trying to draw parallels towards what is referred to as Pizza Gate but that might be reaching a little bit.
Everyone in this film is a caricature and that would be fine if it was an out and out comedy but it’s a satirical comedy trying to make a political point but what political point that is as I stated earlier is uncertain. There is no straight man to contrast with the over-the-top portrayals. No clear indication of the point of view of those behind this movie.
The Hunt is at its best when it is just being violent. The kills are brutal and the only thing that I could find exciting. I waited to see how the next person was going to get offed. The gore and general blood splatters get boosted by CGI.
Crystal (Betty Gilpin) eventually becomes our main character of those referred to as ‘deplorables’. I say ‘eventually’ because it takes some number of others getting whacked before the story focuses in on her or you even really know she exists as a character. Gilpin has perhaps the most serious take on a role here. I think her character was once in the military which would explain her ability to take on everybody but they kinda breezed through that.
Hillary Swank is probably the biggest name this film though and she doesn’t come in till about halfway through the movie in the role of Athena Stone. As it turns out what’s going on here is the result of a misunderstanding connected to her and she has decided to prove them right by doing what they claim she was doing which is hunting conservatives on an estate. Was that supposed to be funny or ironic? I do not think writers Nick Cuse and Damon Lindelof even know for certain.
What we have here is certainly an interesting idea and one that in better hands could’ve been entertaining and even said something. As it is it just lacks focus and a discernible point. Director Craig Zobel did not know what to aim for. There is stuff here worthy of a film albeit a short one, but it never quite comes together. I’m left with a feeling it was trying to not upset anybody and in the end left itself with nothing worth enjoying.
Ultimately The Hunt is a good idea that is poorly executed. It’s a satire but it doesn’t know what it wants to satire. I say you can skip this one.