I'm the farthest thing from a politically minded person, as I hardly have a particular opinion of how the government should be run; so luckily and to my surprise, The Hunt didn't attempt to overwhelm with nonstop politics.
Director Craig Zobel has only made a handful of films, and unfortunately I haven't become engrossed by his style of direction… until now. Zobel's direction here is incredibly energetic, always fast paced, and delightfully gory. The Hunt is shocking, brutal, and relentless in its execution.
Take the concept of The Purge and adjust the premise just slightly with the cyberbullying of Guns Akimbo and you’ve got The Hunt. The story opens on a text conversation between a few business people talking about the possibility of a “hunt,” but once their text gets out to the heads of the company, their joke quickly becomes reality. As a group of internet bullies are drugged and kidnapped to survive the hunt, no one is safe, whether good or bad; the goal is to survive. The premise is simple and relatively straight forward but it works extremely well, keeping the film tense, fun, and comical all at the same time. Only near the film's conclusion does the film drag slightly, extending a singular fight scene for a little too long on screen.
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
Whatever you do, don’t become comfortable with any of these characters as they’re certainly not going to be sticking around. The cast is stacked with Betty Gilpin (Glow), Emma Roberts (Scream 4), Ike Barinholtz (Blockers), Hilary Swank (Boys Don't Cry), and many others. A majority of the characters we are introduced to barely have any defining character traits, however the one major standout is Betty Gilpin, who is easily the best part of the film. She is an absolute badass, she owns her role as Crystal. Gilpin is the perfect combination of attitude, comedic timing, and Ellen Ripley-level badassery
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
The score in The Hunt could be easily disposed of and replaced for something more significant. Composer Nathan Barr has delivered a partially thrilling, tense, and comedic score, but the elements that are memorable are undermined by the other elements that are just so bland and forgettable. Barr hasn’t delivered a great score since 2002’s Cabin Fever, and that streak continues to this day.
Visually, The Hunt understands exactly what it’s trying to be. Almost always allowing for practical effects over CGI, the visuals never disappoint. With tons of surprise kills, explosions, and tricks up everyone’s sleeves. Especially gore. Lots and lots of bloody fun.
The Hunt is filled to the brim with delightfully shocking deaths and politically fueled dialogue, but the film pokes fun at all sorts of politics and that’s what makes it so unique. Unlike similar films like The Purge, The Hunt is an extreme satire on the political climate we are living through today and it’s ultra-violent nature makes the film all the more disturbingly fun to sit through. There’s a potential franchise here, it’s just unfortunate that poor timing has caused the film to become a failure at the box office and hindering almost any chances of a sequel being developed anytime soon.