Years from now, The Hunt will be afforded its proper context. For it’s been cursed by some of the absolute worst timing of any film I’ve ever seen. It was initially delayed after a pair of shootings, then it arrived in theaters a week before the COVID-19 pandemic. And on the eve of its home video release, police brutality and worldwide protests make its timing lousy yet again.
For those who do check it out, The Hunt is a savvy, smart and violent skewering of both liberals and conservatives. Maybe November would have been an ideal release period? Betty Gilpin stars as Crystal, a woman who finds herself among a dozen abducted strangers being hunted down by a group of psychotics. Nothing is truly as it seems though and the good guys might be on the wrong side of the fence on this one.
Screenwriters Damon Lindelof and Nick Cuse appear to have a blast with the over the top humor and quickly define the characters enough that their deaths have some modicum of meaning.
The Hunt tries to toe the line in terms of favoring one side over the other, which makes the criticism from the more conservative side interesting. At 90 minutes the film doesn’t overstay its welcome and it ends on an ideal note with one of the best traditional fight scenes I’ve seen in awhile.
Gilpin makes for a very unusual protagonist with her quirky facial expressions and how she plays Crystal. Hilary Swank is also terrific as Athena, the leader of the other side. Emma Roberts and Justin Hartley make surprisingly quick, but effective cameos.
It won’t be surprising to see The Hunt become a cult classic not long from now. For those who track it down The Hunt will prove a very rewarding and entertaining experience.
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While it’s not reference quality, the picture quality is solid throughout. Some of the colors appear muted and the blacks are not distinct and lose background details.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 is terrific fully creating an atmospheric effect with the gunfire, explosions and ambient noise.
Universal set up a clever menu option to better showcase the special features actually placing them on the sidebar so you see them right away on the main menu page. Considering the film wasn’t a huge hit, the slim bonus features are understandable if not a little disappointing. This seems like an ideal film to have a director/screenwriting commentary track.
Crafting the Hunt (5:04)
This is the longest feature with some breakdowns of quirks like costumes that don’t fit you, the pristine camouflage attire and the subtle lighting of reds and blues playing up political affiliations.
Death Scene Breakdowns (02:36)
A brief glimpse at how some of the more creative kills were filmed. Too short to be all that informative, but there’s some nice tidbits.
Athena vs. Crystal: Hunter or Hunted?(02:42)
Breaking down the instant classic fight between Swank and Gilpin. It was pretty neat watching all of the female stunt coordinators walking them through and seeing how their skills were incorporated i.e. Swank’s preference for kicking and Crystal operating as more of a melee fighter.
You can buy The Hunt on Blu-Ray/DVD now at Amazon.