Originally set for a September 2019 opening, The Hunt got pulled from that date after a rash of shootings. However, the film became a political talking point after the rumor mill began churning with the basic premise — rich liberals hunt working class conservatives for sport — Fox News devoted several segments to attacking the film. But, none of those people had actually seen the film. Released in theaters March 20th, and just recently landed on Blu-ray, The Hunt can be fairly evaluated for its content.
Twelve kidnapped strangers are dropped at a location simply known as “The Manor.” Stuck together with no memory of how they arrived, they struggle with this perplexing situation. The threat quickly becomes clear. They learn they’re there as part of a human hunt. There are two central women: Athena (Hilary Swank) a corporate shark who appears to be the brains behind the whole kill-the-poor gathering. She’s a Type-A personified. She’s the type who impulsively ride an exercise bike during a phone meeting and thinks nothing of using a $1,200 stiletto heel as a weapon. Athena will lead a group of liberal elitists out to hunt “Deplorable’s” for fun. Swank plays her dialed to eleven.
The second is Crystal. A military veteran, she served in Afghanistan. While everyone around her is freaking out, Crystal is cool as a cucumber. Lethal with a firearm, she’s the smartest person in the room and on the battlefield. Unsurprisingly, Crystal and the hunted don’t take kindly to their situation. They determine to fight back against their violent opponents.
Whatever political controversy surrounded The Hunt before it was released, the film is firmly satirical. Many of the jokes and barbs are aimed at the very liberals its critics had assumed it would glorify. The Hunt isn’t a one-sided affair though, as it gets in a few shots at the right wing, too. Though these moments pale in comparison to the opposite POV, the movie throws in enough to be worth mentioning.
Though The Hunt got attention for political reasons, the film works best as an effective, if basic, thriller. The story is amusing enough and offers some interesting twists. The action beats keep things going.
The strong cast is a real asset. Betty Gilpin makes for a strong action lead, and she manages the character’s comedic moments with ease. Hilary Swank is always good. Throw in several other well known names: Ike Barinholtz, Ethan Suplee and Amy Madigan. It’s a solid watch.
Presented in the 2.39:1 aspect ratio, this 1080p presentation is a positive one. Sharpness is solid throughout. Softness isn’t much of an issue, meaning delineation is strong. No source defects are apparent. The subdued tones looked fine. Blacks look dark and deep, while shadows show appropriate clarity.
The DTS-HD MA 7.1 Audio offers an expansive soundfield. Audio quality is consistently good. Music is full and rich, while effect demonstrate great clarity and accuracy. Dialogue is clean, clear and concise.
English SDH, French, and Spanish subtitles are included.
The following extras are available:
- Crafting The Hunt (HD, 5:04) Members of the cast and crew are interviewed for this brief discussion of story, characters, costumes, cast, and sets.
- Death Scene Breakdowns (HD, 2:36) Cast and crew has members of the cast and crew commenting on the film’s violence.
- Athena Vs. Crystal: Hunter or Hunted? (HD, 2:42) A brief look at the film’s climactic battle.
- DVD Copy
The Hunt (2019)
Movie title: The Hunt
Duration: 90 min.
Director(s): Craig Zobel
Actor(s): Betty Gilpin, Emma Roberts, Hilary Swank, Ethan Suplee, Justin Hartley, Glenn Howerton
Genre: Action, Comedy, Thriller, Dark Humor, Horror