The Hunt was almost never on. Initially set for release in September of last year, the film was halted with no release date seemingly in sight, as a result of recent mass shootings and a negative storm of press seemingly sparked by Donald Trump calling into question the film’s alleged portrait of ‘liberal elites’ hunting ‘redneck’ individuals. After allowing the storm to die down, Universal and Blumhouse relaunched the campaign with a sooner than expected March release date and a marketing campaign that grappled directly with the Twitter controversy and played up the satirical nature of the film. So, now the real question is: is it worth all that fuss?
When 12 strangers wake up in a clearing with no idea how or why they are there, they quickly realise that they are in fact being hunted by a group of rich liberal elites, a group that has been rumoured to exist online and appears now to actually exist. The tables turn on the elites, however, when one of the strangers proves to be harder to handle than they initially anticipated.
The Hunt is not a film that is out to offend either liberals or more conservative individuals; it’s going after both of them with pretty equal glee. It’s hard to say it’s even attacking any one camp as well, as it is all simply too silly and daft to be taken all that seriously as a political commentary. If anything, Trump supporters were far too quick to judge as it is more critical of the liberal elite than it is the everyday people side of its equation. But, much like the similarly ‘controversial’ The Interview a few years ago, there’s nothing here that is all that incendiary, with much of the satire being quite broad, occasionally clever, but largely feeling as though the jokes and jibes have been concocted after a quick scroll through a Twitter feed.
Full review at VultureHound, originally published March 11th 2020.