Saturday, March 21, 2020

The Hunt (2020)

Streaming Service: Prime Video ($19.99)
Movie Name/Year: The Hunt (2020)
Genre: Action, Horror, Thriller
Length: 90 minutes
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: Blumhouse Productions, White Rabbit, Sabay MVP, United International Pictures (UIP), Universal Pictures International (UPI), Universal Pictures
Director: Craig Zobel
Writer: Nick Cuse, Damon Lindelof
Actors: Betty Gilpin, Hilary Swank, Ike Barinholtz, Wayne Duvall, Ethan Suplee, Emma Roberts, Christopher Berry, Sturgill Simpson, Kate Nowlin, Amy Madigan, Reed Birney, Glenn Howerton, Steve Coulter, Dean J. West, Vince Pisani, Teri Qyble, Steve Mokate, Sylvia Grace Crim, Jason Kirkpatrick, Macon Blair, J.C. MacKenzie, Tadasay Young, Hannah Alline, Jim Klock, Usman Ally, Walker Babington, Ariel Eliaz, Alexander Babara

Blurb from IMDb: Twelve strangers wake up in a clearing. They don't know where they are, or how they got there. They don't know they've been chosen - for a very specific purpose - The Hunt.

Selina’s Point of View:
There was nothing subtle about The Hunt. Five seconds into the film they were already talking about hunting ‘deplorables’. Not ten, maybe fifteen, minutes later there was talk of someone being a ‘fucking snowflake’. The political terminology is there. It’s up front. It’s smashed right in your face with a sledgehammer.

The thing was, the film never really got into ACTUAL politics. Nothing more extreme than overcharged political correctness and cancel culture. Other than that, it just took stereotypes from the left and the right, amped them up to max, warped them into near dystopian levels and then let them go at it. It’s very clear who’s the villain, and it’s easy to see who’s liberal and who’s conservative, but the morals behind the main conflict have nothing to do with their politics.

It’s fascinating that such a politically charged and in-your-face film could have such as simple and common motivation for the characters.

Here’s the thing, you never really like anyone in the film. Everyone’s obnoxious. I mean, you want to see the main character succeed just because they’re being hunted, but you never really feel like you’ll want to get a beer with them if they survive.

You’d think that would be building to some kind of message.

While watching The Hunt, I spent the whole time trying to figure out what message it was leading up to. By the end, though, I realized there really was nothing to learn. It was a Blumhouse movie. The most Blumhouse movie in existence.

It was fast paced and bloody, but there was nothing in the depths. It was the same old revenge vs. survival bit, only it was painted with today’s political climate. Everyone was whatever they were to the most extreme level, and there was no lesson.

The Hunt was originally supposed to come out on September 27 and it was postponed. There was a huge amount of controversy from liberals who hated the violence and conservatives who hated what they assumed the message was. It was all pointless. It had the same level of violence that most Blumhouse horrors have and there was no political message at all.

As for the entertainment value, it had its good parts. I thought Betty Gilpin (GLOW, Stuber, The Grudge) was phenomenal in her part. There were some scenes where she had to use only facial expressions to get her point across, and she nailed it. Hilary Swank (Trust, You’re Not You, Million Dollar Baby), as usual, was great as well. I couldn’t pick most of the other actors out of a line-up, though.

It was fine. The best part was the final battle which was flawlessly choreographed and executed, but the rest of it was difficult to watch. The political curtain we saw the action through was distracting, but it did make it memorable.

All-in-all, I think it will be an interesting watch once it can be seen on a streaming service as part of a subscription. It’s not worth paying $20 to watch it earlier.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 52%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 66%
Metascore – 50/100
Metacritic User Score – 6.5/10
IMDB Score – 6.4/10
CinemaScore – C+

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating3/5

PS: Take a look at the IMDb page sometime. Some of the official character names are ridiculous.

Movie Trailer:

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