Tony's Take

THE HUNT review

Decide for Yourself

Having already been delayed from last September for being deemed “too controversial” and ‘”too grotesque”, all eyes have been on Blumhouse’s latest offering.  “The Hunt” opens with a text message exchange between some Trump-hating friends, voicing their excitement with their upcoming hunt before quickly silencing themselves.  While seemingly on a plane to their destination, one of their “deplorables” awakens and is put down much sooner than intended.  Upon their arrival, eleven (minus the unfortunate-riser) individuals find themselves gagged and spread out in an open land area, with nothing but a large wooden crate nearby.  After exercising caution and opening the crate, a small pig scurries out; leaving a large selection of weapons at their disposal.  Moments later, shots rain-down on the unsuspecting prey and they realize their lives are in immediate danger.  As more and more of the captured start to bite the dust, their reasons for being there slowly start to unfold.

Without question, “The Hunt” will surely be one of the most divisive and talked-about films of 2020.  In a poisonous climate where political rhetoric is so violently discussed and debated, the film walks (tiptoes) such a careful line in not choosing a side to deem right or correct.  In-fact, both left and right extremism is explored as it exposes those individuals as the hilarious and ridiculous clowns they truly are.  The film’s strength is that is doesn’t take sides, instead it showcases just how sad our political climate has become.  Led-by the subtle, nuanced breakout performance of Betty Gilpin, the film’s cast is filled with people you’ll recognize, such as: Hilary Swank, Ike Barinholz, Ethan Suplee, Emma Roberts, Glenn Howerton, Sturgill Simpson, and Justin Hartley just to name a few; but don’t you dare try to get too attached!  But truly this is Gilpin’s show and she commands the screen in a way reminiscent of Uma Thurman in “Kill Bill” and Samara Weaving in “Ready or Not”.

While I’m sure you’ll read more hate than praise about the film, sadly that’s just the World we live in.  The freedom of media is essentially non-existent, so people had to rush to bash the film for its story details.  No one is condoning intentional violence for one’s political (or any type of) beliefs, but “The Hunt” tackles very messy, potentially catastrophically-sensitive subject matter and (though is does lose itself along the way) manages to call all of us out.  It’s a very brave, unabashed introspective that will hopefully leave everyone with thought.  There are many moments of laughter, though mostly disturbing, uncomfortable ones, throughout the film; moments that will even trigger a self-conscious check afterwards occasionally.  Along with the sensitive subject, the film is filled with brutal violence and some gory scenes, similar to the likes of films like “The Belko Experiment”.  At a brisk 89 minutes, “The Hunt” never overstays its welcome as it punches us repeatedly in the face.

There’s a lot left to uncover once you see it for yourself, but “The Hunt” is a fun, brutally-violent introspective on the culture of our political beliefs and it achieves its goal by making you feel uncomfortable.   

 3.5/5

THE HUNT is rated R for strong bloody violence and language throughout, in theaters MARCH 13TH!