jayc’s review published on Letterboxd:
Imagine a Twitter thread was made into a movie, this is The Hunt. What we have here is a film that functions on the confliction that exists in the real-world between liberals and conservatives, as they take chunks out of each other when discussing politics online, spilling blood on each side as opinions and views are torn to shit by the opposing party. What is depicted is literal death and carnage, which is representative of how the different identities and political views that are one person's beliefs, but another’s infuriating joke.
The beauty here (which is addressed as a massive concern to most reviewers) is the lack of depth to these characters within The Hunt, and to their lifestyle choices and political standpoints. What works best is that it never takes a stance when mocking both sides of the political spectrum, allowing the audience to identify with whatever our moral views lead us to; even if one side is draped in murderous overtones.
Admiration is in how we are left to decide where we stand, and if what is happening is something we can sympathise with. To most, what I’m saying sounds ridiculous, but the lack of depth to the characters is reflective on the current state of our social media platforms, having people who we know nothing about spreading their views which are bible to some and toxic to others.
It’s that online façade that is at play here, as we as humanity have become desensitised by online slander and verbal abuse. Statement's used to ruin people’s professional statuses or simply to spread offensive and insensitive comments online, trolling others. This is the world we live in, and the characters in The Hunt exist within our real world. The characters within this may not be fleshed out, but to the online profiles with nothing but a name, a picture and a flurry of controversial tweets aren't either, and that certainly looks like modern day humanity to me.
Much of The Hunt’s satirical sting comes from its reliance on our current climate and political correctness, which leans on its accurate depiction of society to get its laughs in when it can. It’s understandable that this particular sense of humour might to a little too one-note or literal for some, but it has its own tongue planted firmly in its own cheek when openly mocking our current way of thinking. Juxtaposing these characters with opposing mind-sets to create a genuinely clever and on-the-nose representation on humanity’s contemporary views.
Aside from the intelligent links to modern society, it’s also energetically enjoyable and highly entertaining when utilising its full potential. One could be offended by some of the humour here, but when the film itself jokes on our own generation of snowflakes, it begs the question is The Hunt pointing the finger at you, and calling you and calling you the snowflake? It all really works for me on a sharply pungent level, one that had me tickled pink until the final credits. The Hunt ultimately holds up a darkly comedic mirror up to the political divisions in a way that hasn’t been explored to this stature, especially not within this genre.
The action here is outstanding, with the violence being an appropriate level of frantic to match its exuberant premise. Betty Gilpin is undeniably outstanding as she delivers a powerhouse performance in her portrayal of Crystal, a tough as nails heroine who easily establishes herself in the ranks next to such genre greats as Erin from You’re Next and Alien’s Ripley.
Her level of badass is contagiously ferocious, making every scene she’s in an absolute blast to witness. Each fight scene is expertly crafted, looking seamlessly effortless with its high-energy intensity. This is most notable during our final act in which our Million Dollar Baby Hillary Swank comes head-to-head with Gilpin, a scrappy kitchen tussle that utilises every inch of its surroundings as a deadly weapon. Yes, nothing is ever fully dripping in suspense, but you soon realise it doesn’t need to be when you’re witnessing enigmatic fight scenes that are as vicious as they are diverting.
The Hunt may divide audiences with an even splice down the centre, but there is one thing that is universal, and that’s that Betty Gilpin’s Crystal is already this decades best Final Girl.