Review: 'The Hunt' is Lazy and Not Worth the Bother

by Derek Deskins
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Jun 16, 2020
Review: 'The Hunt' is Lazy and Not Worth the Bother

The world really didn't want to accept the release of "The Hunt." Originally, the movie was supposed to be released in September, but after mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso, that plan was scuttled. Then, after months of uncertainty, its release date was set for March, only to have COVID-19 hit and shut down everything. So here we are, with no new gun legislation and the ramifications of COVID still being felt, but "The Hunt" is finally on Blu-ray. Yeah, we would've been fine if this never came out.

Eleven strangers wake up in a field. No one knows where they are, no one knows how they got there, but they're all outfitted with identical locked bags. While they don't know it yet, they have all been carefully chosen to be there. Lost and confused, they see a large crate sitting in the open. One brave soul opens the crate and reveals a rack full of weaponry. Just as the group starts to arm up, bullets begin to fly past. The hunt has officially begun.

"The Hunt" has a tone problem. On the page, I'm sure that "The Hunt" reads as a satirical takedown of current U.S. politics. From the film's point of view, extreme views are bad, regardless of who holds those views. Do you think that crisis actors are going out pretending that there is a refugee crisis? Do you think that you should be sensitive to the feelings of all marginalized groups? Your answer doesn't really matter to "The Hunt." It just wants you to know that it thinks both sides are being silly.

Normally, I could brush this off as a lazy movie being lazy. And don't get it twisted, "The Hunt" is spectacularly lazy. But in "both-sides-ing" the everloving crap out of some big deal political issues, it is calling them identical and minimizing everyone. The only issue that is a bridge too far for the movie appears to be race, as the film is populated with only one person of color. His race, by the way, is used as a punchline, and nothing else.

The writing is hack, sounding more like an anonymous internet comment than how people actually speak to one another. This poorly-written script crumbles under the smallest amount of pressure. It throws plenty of twists into the proceedings, only because that is easier than actual character development or satirical insight, and those unravel as soon as you give them a second thought. "The Hunt" wants you to have a gory, playful, winking good time; just try to ignore the world that is slowly burning around you.

The Blu-ray release is just as lazy as the movie itself. Included are three special features, only one of which is able to make it past five minutes in length. They offer brief glimpses into the film's strongest elements: makeup and fight scenes. But the features are too slight to be truly worthwhile. "The Hunt" has seemed to only ever exist as a movie that no one really wanted to see. After sitting to watch it, it's hard to argue that the initial impulse was wrong.

"The Hunt"
Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD

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