Fancy Boys Stays Home With The Movies: The Hunt

With movie theaters closed, many studios have decided to release current-run movies out for streaming and download. I caught up with Blumhouse Productions’ latest film.

This might be giving the review away, but I’m just gonna lead off with this: for all of the people who furious about Craig Zobel’s The Hunt, specifically those upset with it’s premise of violence against conservatives, y’all done fucked up. Instead of trying to get the film banned (it had been shelved of it’s August 2019 date), you should have just let it come out into theaters, where it would have not done well, and then you could have claimed victory of the liberal elites trying to push their wishful thinking down your throats… or whatever.

And The Hunt would have failed. But not for it’s politics. It’s just not all that great.

When I saw that Damon Lindelof and Nick Cuse had penned the screenplay for The Hunt, I was intrigued. Lindelof was the mastermind behind Lost, The Leftovers, and most recently The Watchmen on HBO, all of which I absolutely adored. Add in the satirical premise and I was ready for an exciting and bloody ride.

Director Craig Zobel (Compliance, Z For Zachariah) lays the blood on early and often as the film begins to lay out it’s story: twelve conservatives are drugged and awoken to find that the rumor of Manor House, an annual event where rich liberals hunt down people who have different ideologies from them.

After an exciting and intense opening where the stakes are made graphically clear, the film follows Crystal (Betty Gilpin) as she tries to figure out what’s going on and how best to move forward. Gilpin is effective here, portraying Crystal with a badass charm while also showing the spirit of a survivor.

Unfortunately, the jokes never quite hit too hard and that makes the satire of the film never as effective as it could be. Without that, we’re just left with Zobel’s direction and the gore that anyone would come to expect from a Blumhouse film. That leads to some fun moments, but it’s never enough to really get rolling and be one of the better films in this genre.

All in all, everything is fine here. The cast is fair and serviceable, the script tries but often relies on weaker jokes instead of trying to establish a strong satire, the direction is gory without ever being jumpy or scary. That’s part of the problem here; you can see the better film The Hunt could be, but no one involved seems interested in making that film.

Had the film really reached for the gold, it could have really pissed people off and found an audience.

The Hunt: 7.2/10

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