Unexpectedly, The Hunt is the best film that I’ve watched so far in 2020.
That’s right, the movie that got pulled from the tail end of 2019 because of its supposed depiction of violence combined with its suspect subject matter, is actually an entertaining mix of political commentary and yes, violence.
Written by Damon Lindeloff and Nick Cuse, and directed by Craig Zobel, The Hunt is the story of 12 kidnapped “redneck” Americans, including Crystal (Betty Gilpin) who are taken to The Manor and hunted down by “elites” led by Athena (Hilary Swank).
There’s so much I liked about The Hunt, and I’m hesitant to give away too much about it so you can go on fairly unaware and just enjoy the hell out of it. But here’s a few things I’ll share:
– Betty Gilpin gives an outstanding performance. You cheer for her character from the very beginning, due in part because of the film’s clever writing, but also because of what Gilpin can do with a subtle move of her neck, or the way she draws her words out.
– There is a ton of violence in The Hunt, yes indeed. And it’s gory. And as someone who has never been down with torture porn or gratuitous gore, let me say that the violence here is shocking, in the way that it often comes out of nowhere. And it absolutely worked for me. It’s the sort of violence that leaves you both gasping and laughing, thinking I can’t believe I’m seeing this.
The Hunt runs a tight 90 minutes, where not a moment is wasted. Coming from Blumehouse Productions, you’d think the film would fall under the horror banner, and while the gore might bring it close to a genre film, I see it more as a comedic, violent satire that takes on both sides of the political aisles. It’s also my personal favourite film of the year so far.
Released to VOD in light of the theatre closures because of COVID-19, The Hunt is now available to rent. It’s worth your money.