By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
Universal’s controversial movie “The Hunt”
was scheduled for release last year on Sept. 27.
However, after the mass shootings in Dayton Ohio and El Paso, Texas and along with a wave of criticism surrounding it’s political messaging—some of the chatter even came from President Trump--the film was shelved.
Now, “The Hunt” is on again. This time it’s being marketed not just as a dark, political satire, but also a horror/thriller movie. It kind of works on both fronts which isn’t all that surprising since it’s from Blumhouse productions the creators of the socially conscious movies, “Us,” “Get Out” and “The Purge.”
With “The Hunt,” director Craig Zobel (TV’s “One Dollar”) and writers Damon Lindelof (TV’s “Lost” and Nick Cuse (TV’s “Watchmen”) build their story around America’s current cultural divide. “The Hunt” is meant to be offensive.
It’s meant to shock and awe. It takes aim at liberals, conservatives, vegans, Jews, blacks/African-Americans, rednecks and the rest of those “basket of deplorables.”
“The Hunt” is a loose update of Richard Connell’s classic 1924 short story, “The Most Dangerous Game” where humans prey on each other for sport.
The reason? Politics of course. Both the left and right hate each other.
“The Hunt” begins when a dozen people wind up in a remote facility called The Manor House. Among the group is Emma Roberts, (TV’s “American Horror Story”), Sturgill Simpson (“Queen & Slim”) and Ike Barinholtz (TV’s “The Twilight Zone”) and Justin Hartley (TV’s “This is Us”).
Their mouths are gagged, and they have no clue how they got there. There’s a giant, wooden crate nearby. They open it and find a ton of weapons and a live pig inside. No clue as to why the pig is there.
Within minutes, they’re being hunted by a group of elitists: (Steve Coulter, (“Just Mercy”), Vince Pisani, TV’s “Legacies”), Glenn Howerton, TV’s “A.P. Bio”) and Teri Wyble, (TV’s “The Resident”) among others. They’ve devised all sorts of ways to kill them from using a spike pit and piercing arrows, to a barrage of high-tech weaponry.
These elitists revel in this deadly, bloody game that’s orchestrated by their leader, Athena (a terrific Hilary Swank, TV’s “BoJack Horseman”).
The only person savvy enough to survive this onslaught is Crystal (a terrific Betty Gilpin, “The Grudge”). There’s a reason Crystal is so tough. As this crazy and insanely violent movie rolls along we see why especially during a thrilling fight scene between them.
“The Hunt” is the kind of movie that Quentin Tarantino would undoubtedly love for its gratuitous violence and political incorrectness.
Even so, while “The Hunt” has some exciting moments, it’s still just a solid B-movie and not quite the political juggernaut it was hyped up to be.
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Check Out This Trailer For "THE HUNT"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association (BFCA), The Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC), The Alliance Of Women Film Journalists (AWFJ) and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.