“We didn’t set out to make some statement or write something conspiratorial or political. The key was always just to make it really fun and entertaining. We were just writing about what was interesting to us, and I think because of the political climate and times we’re living in, a story that felt like it touched on some of the themes of the real world moments we’re all experiencing was just more interesting and entertaining to us.” Nick Cuse, co-writer/executive producer THE HUNT
I’m so glad I read this statement prior to writing this, but I’ll be honest it would have helped me greatly if I’d seen it before watching the THE HUNT – the satiric action/horror/thriller released on DVD in early June. Very reminiscent of the old school movie “Surviving The Game,” the film follows a group of initially unidentified people who’ve been kidnapped and wake up in a foreign place, only to be hunted by another group of unknown people.
The audience soon learns that the hunted have been selected based off of beliefs and theories they’ve openly shared on social media, and the hunters believe they are imparting some sort of social justice. Unbeknownst to the latter group, however, is that one of the persons they’ve entrapped is willing to play them at their own game and fight to the death to escape.
What was hard for me while viewing was knowing exactly for what, and whom, I was rooting. Unlike another similar film, “Ready or Not” with respect to shock value and the hunting theme, “The Hunted” does not have clear cut lines – unless you’re aware of the aforementioned quote then you can sit back, take everything at face value and just enjoy the comically violent ride.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic prevented me from seeing this in theaters last March, and even held up my preview DVD by one week due to delayed shipping. However, I think I enjoyed the movie better at home, and may not have been so accommodating with accepting the point of it all had I seen it in theaters.
That being said, the film has several star cameos (hint: don’t get attached to anyone!) and the action is pretty thrilling. With the political statements mentioned, and the rationale for hunting, I can see why it caused such a stink even before its release. Yet, taking the movie at face value and realizing that both sets of ideas and/or actions presented were truly the worst regardless of beliefs, the film serves the purpose it originally set out.
The film is not going in my favorite pile, but I’m not mad I watched it – all in all it’s a pretty decent action/thriller. I’d rate “The Hunt” 3 out of 5 beats on the MMTrometer.
THE HUNT is now streaming on digital and available on Blu-Ray and DVD. Get purchase and additional info at the official website here.
Until next thought, Thomasena
THE HUNT SYNOPSIS:
In this subversive satire, a group of elites gather for the very first time at a remote Manor House to hunt ordinary Americans for sport. But the elites’ master plan is about to be derailed because one of The Hunted, Crystal (Betty Gilpin, GLOW), knows The Hunters’ game better than they do. She turns the tables on the killers, picking them off one by one as she makes her way toward the mysterious woman (two-time Oscar® winner* Hilary Swank) at the center of it all.
THE HUNT BONUS FEATURES on BLU-RAYTM, DVD AND DIGITAL:
- CRAFTING THE HUNT – Filmmakers and cast discuss how costumes and props were used to highlight the political commentary of this slaughterous thriller.
- DEATH SCENE BREAKDOWNS – THE HUNT’s talented special effects and make-up teams give you an inside look on how they carried out some of the goriest death sequences.
- ATHENA VS CRYSTAL: HUNTER OR HUNTED? – Go behind the scenes to check out the intense training and choreography actresses Betty Gilpin and Hilary Swank had to master in order to execute this epic fight scene.