The Hunt

The Hunt ★★★

Hoop Dreams: Hooptober 2020 (1/31) - A film released this year (1/2)

Afterthoughts: I love it when you think a film is going to be total shite based on seeing other Letterboxd user's scores, but it turns out to be a pretty damn good time.

I don't read reviews or opinions on films I haven't seen yet. It's always been a rule I've abided by, because I want to decide how I feel about them without prejudice. But of course, scrolling through your feed, you can't help but look at what scores your Lb friends have dished out, and therefore automatically conjure up an idea of how you yourself might judge the film.

With The Hunt, it's a little difficult to tell if I liked it more out of spite towards other Lb users or that I genuinely thought it was a decent film. The likely answer is it's a combination of both.

I have a feeling some of the criticisms towards The Hunt come down to a classic case of audiences not getting what they expected. The film promises to be a Battle Royale-Hunger Games style horror movie, which we get for about 10-15 minutes, during which time the protagonist changes 3 times. But haven't we seen so many of those already? Wouldn't that just be boring to see another one of those survival thrillers? Personally, I think it would, and what the creators of The Hunt do seem to do quite well, is make something that is rather unpredictable, and with a concept that's been done dozens of times, that is certainly refreshing.

It has perhaps been mis-sold as a horror film, because it isn't really. It's more of an action thriller, something most easily identified by its fantastic hand-to-hand combat sequences (especially the finale), and absolute badass of a protagonist in Crystal (played by Betty Gilpin, who gives a performance I really enjoyed). Though her minutes in the film were few, Hilary Swank is a great presence, and the epic confrontation with Crystal is brilliant, before and after the eruption of violent chaos.

The satire is very on the nose, and there really is no attempt at subtlety on that front. But I actually did find it really amusing and not cringeworthy.

Not much more to say other than don't write this off completely.

Michael's Cinema Paradiso liked this review