Attention: There are slight spoilers ahead in this review.
The moment studios delayed the premiere of The Hunt; I thought it was a wrong decision. As soon as I saw the premise of the film, I immediately thought of Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game.” This movie is a story we’ve seen adapted for years. The Hunger Games is even a loose example of the story, but on a grander scale and with children. Regardless though, there is nothing new in the world of horror about a person hunting another person. That is half of the genre. Despite the film’s politically charged nature, in this instance, politics only add to the intensity of this particular adaptation of Connel’s famous short story.
The basic premise is that twelve strangers wake up in a clearing. The strangers have no idea how they arrived there or where they are, but they soon realize the sinister nature of why they are there. This premise is a loose version of the later installments of the Saw franchise. However, in this case, we do not get as many in-depth introductions on these characters. The film sets it up this way, which was insanely smart on the writer’s part, to let us know that these people are expendable. No one is going to care if they are gone, and we are not supposed to miss them. They mean nothing.
The delay of the film is due to it’s politically charged nature is the fact that it is politically charged. However, this film merely amps up the fear-mongering that we have seen for years now. The elite play all of the characters against everyone. No one should trust anyone. That’s the mentality of the world to the degree that we live in today. That’s no different in the movie, although we see the two sides from extremists points of view. The twist, which I will not spoil, is what side the villains are on this go-around, in my opinion.
Every character and actor plays a vital role within the film of making an orchestrated point. The scariest part of the film is noting how the so-called elite finds these people to hunt in the first place. As they scroll through various photographs of people, they gathered these people by comments made on multiple social media platforms. People do not want to believe that their words have power, but the fact of the matter is they do. They all have control. The scariest part of this fact is knowing how people can manipulate these words into fitting their agenda of reasoning.
The acting within the film is superb. The credit listing for each character is impressive, to say the least. Betty Gilpin shows she can shine as a lead actress in not only a series (Glow) but on the big screen as well. And Hilary Swank has not lost the edge she possesses in the least. Many other familiar faces within the feature will make you take notice of them. However, Gilpin and Swank in particular shine in their respective roles, which only leads to the further success The Hunt is bound to have even if it’s among the rental circuit.
The Hunt is a smart film. From the moment the movie starts, it holds the attention of its audience during its one hour and twenty-nine minute run time. Audience members of my theater laughed, gasped, and everyone who left was singing the film’s praises. This particular venture does not let up and insists that each viewer takes note of what is going in the world around them. They make them think about what they are posting on social media. The film, in general, is meant to make us feel and take our actions into account. The gore and calculated moments of horror insist we do.
When it comes to politics that there is no gray area anymore, not that there was much of one there, to begin with quite frankly. We live in a society now where one is either right or wrong, and if you disagree with anyone’s opinion, you are erroneous. No one wants to take the time to understand anyone else’s point of view anymore. So while everyone thinks this film is what is truly scary, what is truly scary is that these are the times that we live in, and art is imitating life to an extreme degree through cinema.