If you can’t take a joke and are not able to set aside your personal political beliefs watching this film, then you’ll only end up getting enraged and offended. On the other hand, if you’re in it for seeing some bodies being blown up and chuckling over some harmless satire, then this one’s a gold mine for you.
The Hunt (2020) is directed by Craig Zobel and stars Betty Gilpin as the lead character. Along with her include Hilary Swank, Ike Barinholtz, and Ethan Suplee.
The movie shows a group of twelve people waking up in a remote, unknown location.
They soon find themselves being hunted for sport by brutal, malicious elitists who take gleeful pleasure in it.
Being picked off one by one in the most gruesome and violent ways imaginable, they must discover a way to escape this human hunting circus by cooperating, even if it means killing other people.
It’s important to mention that this movie has sparked considerable political controversy.
I mean, hell, the feedback I saw on the main movie-reviewing websites such as Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb is damn near split in half.
One group found it to be incredibly offensive with the overused political jokes thrown on their side of the fence, and the other simply enjoyed it for the dark comedy and gut-churning explosive scenes (this movie has a lot of gory explosions by the way).
In my opinion, people should take the attempts of the movie making political statements with a grain of salt and not allow themselves to get so emotionally charged over a few comedic remarks.
Don’t take it seriously and lighten up a bit, the writing makes fun of both sides of the political spectrum, not just one.
Although there was a lot of ambivalence attributed to the screenplay, you shouldn’t let that detract you from being able to come to a reasonable and well-thought out conclusion when analyzing it.
Visuals & Imagery
Now onto the fun stuff. This movie is graphic, extremely and violently graphic.
If you didn’t come into it with an idea of it being aggressive and gruesome, then you’re definitely made aware of that especially in the beginning act.
There’s dangerous explosives being hurled, deadly snipers lurking around, secret pits of spikes that’ll catch you by surprise, and trip mines that’ll blow you till kingdom come if you make the wrong step.
That was the favorite aspect for me at least, seeing the characters go through different variations of being shred to pieces in a cartoonish manner.
I remember very vividly one certain scene where a guy had a grenade shoved into his pants. What ensued a couple of seconds after had me cracking up uncontrollably.
There were many comical moments like that splattered throughout which kept me visually invested in the action.
For some people this doesn’t work however. Some brutal scenes do admittedly get a bit hard to watch as it can be portrayed as too graphic (which is why it’s Rated R).
Don’t let that scare you away though.
Trust me, some parts were executed perfectly in a way that grab the viewer’s attention and are able to maintain it with progressively shocking, but dazzling, spectacles of dark humor.
Betty Gilpin gave a spectacular performance. Her crass and funny delivery of her character served to greatly enhance the satire of the film.
There was one specific scene where here character, Crystal Creasy, told another character to just plain “shut the F up”.
It wasn’t the words themselves that had me laughing, but more the dull facial expressions that Gilpin used that looked as if she was ready to punch someone in the face.
The flippant tone she resembled effortlessly throughout the plot was entertaining and amusing.
Also, the encounter near the end with her nemesis Athena Stone, played by Hilary Swank, proved to be an enjoyable watch as they grappled and tussled around in an aggressive fashion (A true cat fight on display).
Ike Barinholtz and Ethan Suplee also added nicely to the mix with their contributions to the plot.
The Hunt will do a great job of reeling you in at the beginning with wide shots of intense gore and splattered blood.
It’s not perfect though, as there are some flaws such as not enough character development with some of the other captured people.
It particularly does a clever approach to how it introduces the main characters.
At first you think the leads are established and the producers won’t lay a hand on them, and then BOOM!, a twist happens.
The viewer is left guessing continuously throughout the beginning and middle act as to which character will be given the most development until the story hones in on that person only after some fun twists and turns have occurred.
The overall direction and storytelling is well-developed and original in its execution. I had an incredibly mirthful time viewing this action thriller.
If I had a chance to watch it with someone else who hasn’t seen it yet to excitingly catch their facial reactions, I most certainly would.
FP Score – Noteworthy