3:00 pm EDT, March 23, 2020

‘The Hunt’ movie review: A lame attempt at politically-driven action horror

Honestly, I think the world could do without The Hunt, but I guess it does have some sort of plot. If you really think about it.

The Hunt is a fairly pedestrian take on action horror, with a whole ton of politically-tinged insults and labels thrown in to give it substance. I now understand why this movie was barred from theaters last November. My interests in The Hunt were more for the spectacle than the content of the film.

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Briefly, The Hunt tells the story of a handful of liberal elites who kidnap a dozen conservative instigators to hunt them in the woods of Croatia. Supposedly, the idea stemmed from a joke the friends were telling each other, which spiraled out of control when the media got a hold of it, so they decided to lean into the joke and kill people. Because that’s a thing people do. *shakes head*

The Hunt

So, yeah. My advice is to skip this one. The Hunt‘s run-time feels cheap. It provides little-to-no back story for any of the characters. You only get to see everyone’s worst traits, and if it weren’t for Betty Gilpin’s character, there would be no one to cheer for.

And, honestly, it’s not even that easy to cheer for her since we don’t know much about where she stands ideologically.

Your gut will tell you to feel badly for the hunted. That’s fine. But once those being hunted start opening their mouths and spilling vile, disgusting stereotypes and racist garbage, you have a hard time wanting them to survive their ordeal.

So, then you take a good look at the hunters. They’re starting off on thin ice because they’ve chosen to HUNT PEOPLE, but considering how awful most of the hunted have turned out to be, you give them a chance. And the instinct not to like the hunters is proven correct about 30 seconds into hearing them talk.

I don’t truly know why the creative forces behind this movie thought it needed to be made. There have to be far better, less gruesome, and distinctly more effective ways to impart the wisdom that there are terrible people in every ideology. Because that’s ultimately what I learned from this movie, and I think it’s what Damon Lindelof and the rest of the creatives behind The Hunt want me to learn.

No matter how you think and how you align yourself politically, there are going to be monsters. Absolute, horrific, terrible people who represent the absolute worst aspects of your belief system. Each side of this fight must recognize that, and to avoid things like people-hunting, we should probably send those particular folks to their own islands to live out their days with only their own terrible selves for company.

The Hunt

I actually find it kind of funny how awful this movie is. I wanted it to have more to it than the very basic, undeveloped, bloody story it appeared to be. It just simply doesn’t.

Sure, there is some blatant mindfuckery going on within the 90-minute run-time. The people behind this film want you to believe there is a great lesson to be learned by watching these people try to kill each other for 90 minutes.

But the only lesson I learned here is that nobody learns anything from bad movies, and The Hunt is exactly that. It’s flashy because of the politically-driven motivations from its characters, and it’s supposed to attract fans of the gruesome and bloody.

But it honestly doesn’t even have all that much to offer by way of blood, guts, and gore. I would rather watch Once Upon a Time in Hollywood‘s full length to get to the action-heavy final 30 minutes than watch this one again.

So, if you’re negotiating which movie to spend your hard earned money on, I suggest The Invisible Man, which will give you some truly interesting things to think about on top of entertaining you for the entirety of its running time. It has so much more than the minuscule thematic offerings The Hunt has going on, not to mention performances that shine a hell of a lot brighter.

While it may be tempting to want to get in on the discourse surrounding The Hunt, I can tell you it really won’t last long. There just isn’t enough substance on screen to justify spending $19.99 to rent this meager action horror offering.

The Hunt is available to rent On Demand now from Vudu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV and pretty much anywhere digital media is rented.

But please, I beg you, rent something else. There are far better ways to spend an hour and a half than on this flashy, controversial wannabe of a film. I suggest watching 1917 or Ready or Not for a taste of better action with better story, and Knives Out if you want more interesting political discourse.

Those are all just much better movies from start to finish than whatever The Hunt thinks it is.

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