The Hunt (2020) A Review

Despite this whole films schtick being that it’s the most controversial movie of the year, even though no one has really seen it, I had no idea about the controversy surrounding it.  And I am glad of it.

Certificate: 15

Director: Craig Zobel

Screenwriter: Nick Cuse, Damon Lindelof

Starring: Betty Gilpin, Hilary Swank, Ike Barinholtz

Genre: Action, Horror

Runtime: 89 Minutes

Rating: 2.5 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

This movie never met a social or political movement that it didn’t like.  It has a stance on all of them and isn’t quiet about voicing those opinions.  A lot, for it’s entire run time, from almost it’s very first scene to it’s very last.  I am all for moves that discuss or have a commentary on political or social movements, but not when it rams it down your throat with a jack hammer.

Twelve people wake up in a clearing, gagged and with no idea how they got there.  They are given a crate full of weapons, supposedly to defend themselves, and then very VERY quickly, they start getting picked off one by one.  It takes a while, but they soon come to realise they have been chosen to take part in The Hunt.  An event where rich liberal elites, kidnap a bunch of normal people and hunt them on the grounds of a large manor.

Blumhouse has put out some real corkers in the last few years.  Even in 2020 they have released a belter or two.  This film will not be one of them.  I can’t tell if this film is trying to be a social commentary on political correctness and ‘woke’ culture, or if it is outright mocking it?  And I don’t think the film knows the answer to that question either.  Films on Social commentary have been done so much better and without the heavy handedness, The Purge (I am only taking about the first one here,) is one that comes to mind.  And comedies about the same subject have been done better too (think of anything by Sascha Baron Cohen).  This film can’t live up to either of these two within these genres.

I think it relied too heavily on it’s supposed controversy to fill theatres.  Even the theatrical poster makes multiple reference to the fact it was banned, pushed back and slated for it’s opinions.  A film should not have to rely on those things to get people to see it. 

Betty Gilpin does do a great job in this film as our main female lead Crystal.  Her comedic timing was great, and she takes on the craziness of the film with ease.  It is just a shame that we don’t really get enough information on her character.  An off the cuff remark is made about her serving in Afghanistan, but does that really account for her training?  Her survival skills?  And even if this is an acceptable explanation (which it isn’t), why is she not more concerned that people are trying to kill her for absolutely no reason?

Hilary Swank is grossly overused.  She has the most interesting character, and if they were going to use the flashback mechanic, they could have used it a little more in order to give us more background on her story and what lead her to make the decisions that ultimately end up with her hunting human beings, Something she insists is a joke in the opening scene of the film.

 This film is a bit of a mess.  It has a good story but is too heavily weighed down by it’s commentary on literally EVERYTHING.  It’s entertaining enough and will give you a chuckle or tow, but it won’t be a standout amongst Blumhouse’s releases this year.

The Hunt is out in UK Cinemas now.

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