review by Bobby Blakey
Last year Universal debuted a trailer for a film that looked to be a blast and likely would have just come and con only on the radar of a select group of fans. That was until controversy surrounded the trailer and it was pulled from its release date. Now The Hunt starring Ike Barinholtz, Betty Gilpin, Emma Roberts and Hilary Swank has finally hit theaters, but is it worth the controversy or will it fail to track its prey?
The Hunt follows twelve strangers who wake up in a clearing. They don’t know where they are, or how they got there. They don't know they’ve been chosen… for a very specific purpose … The Hunt. In the shadow of a dark internet conspiracy theory, a group of elites gathers for the very first time at a remote Manor House to hunt ordinary Americans for sport. But the elites’ master plan is about to be derailed because one of The Hunted, Crystal (Betty Gilpin, GLOW), knows The Hunters’ game better than they do. She turns the tables on the killers, picking them off, one by one, as she makes her way toward the mysterious woman (two-time Oscar® winner Hilary Swank) at the center of it all.
With all the complaining about the trailer to this movie I honestly thought it was going to be way more political and that is not what I got at all. Make no mistake this entire film is a social commentary taking on racism, sexism, politics, social media and more all wrapped up in a blood soaked ton of fun. The story is pretty simple and not unlike anything we have seen before with people being hunted, but the over the top violence and funny moments blended with the elements of today’s time makes it something more. The short run time gives it just enough space to kill a ton of people while getting the point of the story across which boils down to showcase all the insanity of this world across the board.
The cast is great, but made all the better that some of them don’t last near as long as you might expect. There are a couple of characters you know will be around for the long haul, but not as many as you might think which makes it work all the better. Throughout you never know who is involved in what and what is real and it makes for a great amount of fun. Lots of twists and turns, both expected and unexpected keeping you invested right up until the final grilled cheese. The fighting was great, the action delivers and the blood flows freely coupled with some strange and often funny moments making a movie that just works for me.
I don’t feel its an overly controversial film giving the actual context of it all, but that fact it went through it speaks volumes to what this film is already saying. It’s ironic that its message is exactly what happened to it and I for one hope it finds the audience it deserves because I loved it in all its insane bloody glory.