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“The Hunt” Review: Perfect Pandemic Entertainment!

Full of political mindfuckery, “The Hunt” offers folks stuck at home horrible & hilarious entertainment

One of the few few perks of the coronavirus pandemic forcing people across America to stay home, is that instead of waiting for movies to release for rent On Demand, they are streaming right to your household. Thus, being the horror movie fanatic that I am, I ordered up “The Hunt” the minute it showed up in my queue.

The Premise

“The Hunt” is yet another human-hunt-human thriller/ horror flick that seemed likely to follow the same, exhausted plot line as those that came before it like “The Most Dangerous Game”. I rented it half expecting to let it run in the background while I finished up mundane tasks I had on my to-do list. Much to my surprise, within minutes, I couldn’t tear my attention away from the TV screen.

Due to release on September 27th of last year, “The Hunt’s” debut was delayed after the mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas. Universal rescheduled the release for spring after criticism about the media’s role in glorifying gun violence escalated.

It’s easy to see why “The Hunt’s” release date was delayed. The movie, a dark satire/thriller, is explicitly violent and takes aim at conservatives and liberals with a plot based on a group of armed liberal elites who decide to exercise their own second amendment rights as they hunt a group of 12 deplorables (AKA: conservatives who are believed to be racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, etc.).

Politically charged, this movie turns the table on its viewers over and over again, regardless of their political affiliation. While you’ll find yourself wanting to side with the hunted…political lines and ideology is likely to stretch your empathy even though the hunters are hardly likeable themselves.

Drugged, captured and plopped down in the middle of nowhere, the deplorables (as they are called in the show–not by me), are given a chance to arm themselves. You will recognize a number of well known actors as each of the captives are revealed: Ike Barinholtz, Ethan Suplee, Emma Roberts and others. And as each of the 12 are slowly picked off, you’ll find yourself struggling to figure out who might survive and play the lead until one woman, who goes by the name of Crystal ( Betty Gilpin ), surprises all as she turns the tables on her pursuers with a combat skill set that puts Jason Bourne (and the many male protagonists just like him) to shame.

This gruesome political satire takes on the current culture war in America in a way the will force you to reflect on who you would be if you were living in the world of “The Hunt”.

Crystal’s badassery is complimented by her silent and intense demeanor. You can’t help but cheer her on, even as you grapple with trying to figure out who she is exactly and what role she plays in the political warfare.

I won’t spoil the ending. I will say this, the movie doesn’t disappoint with and epic showdown between Crystal and and Athena, the Elite’s leader (Hilary Swank). Both female leads play compelling and badass characters who you will love and hate and hate to love.

So cue up “The Hunt” for your next movie night…or day…or morning. Whatever. It’s perfect entertainment for the pandemic.

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Annette Benedetti
Annette Benedetti
Annette is a writer, editor and photographer from Portland, OR. Her work appears in a variety of publications including Bust, Red Tricycle, Motherly and Domino. When she’s away from her desk she can be found teaching women yoga at wilderness retreats, exploring new cities across the states and hiking the trails at Mt. Rainier—one of her favorite places on earth.
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