“The Hunt” Falls Flat

Betty Gilpin in "The Hunt."

The Hunt self-declared itself as “the most talked about movie of the year” and yet when it comes to reviewing the so-called “political thriller,” there is surprisingly little to say.

The concept of The Hunt is one that has been done before. One group is pitted against another in a human hunt. In this version of the scenario, the elite are hunting “deplorables” for sport. These “deplorables” conspicuously reference the “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic” group that Hilary Clinton infamously labeled as deplorable. The hunters, on the other hand, are a group of elite liberals who take out their anger on the group of confused Trump supporters. 

The strength of the film is that it becomes immediately difficult to pick sides. From the trailer, audiences anticipate allegiance with the hunted as they are the ones forced into a despicable scenario. As the story unfolds, it becomes apparent that there really are no good guys or bad guys. There are just those that are doing the hunting, and those that are being hunted.

Although this play on archetypes is effective, the film falls flat in the political commentary it attempts to make. Instead of shining a light on the darker side of the human psyche, The Hunt too often resorts to cartoonish violence. It is not hard to tell that the feature has been produced by the people that made SAW and at times, the gory scenes trigger eye-rolls rather than shock factor. 

It is clear that the Damon Lindelof wanted to provoke his audience but rather than writing an intriguing political thriller, what we have is a violent film with weak political undertones. The characters are not compelling and attempts at political satire give way to drawn-out torture porn.

The Hunt may be “the most talked about film of the year” but to be honest, we have no idea who is talking about it. The best part of the movie was the marketing campaign and beyond that, there’s little to be said in favor of this disappointing violent flick.