Irreverent and Hilarious, THE HUNT is a Satirical Blast

The spectacular THE HUNT has arrived on home video, overshadowed by its own absurd controversy

The Hunt is an amazing story about first impressions and how wrong they are.” — Producer Jason Blum

Jason Blum’s commentary about The Hunt describes the prejudices of its politically-motivated characters, but the same could be said of its own reception.

Even before practically anything was known about The Hunt, whispers of its premise ignited major controversy, mainly among conservative press, despite the complete lack of actual information with which to draw any such conclusions. After being delayed by controversy, the film finally did arrive and has now made its way to home video.

Unfortunately the rise of COVID-19 took the wind out of The Hunt’s sails, and it didn’t get much attention despite its initially huge controversy. I happily recommend the film and would love to see it get its due.

Succinctly, the story, written by Damon Lindelof and Nick Cuse, is about a dozen dazed individuals who wake up in a clearing in the middle of a forest, gagged, armed, and disoriented. And then the shooting starts. It’s soon clear that they’re being hunted; likely politically motivated as they share similarly conservative views.

The premise of human hunting is, of course, nothing new, following in the footsteps of several similarly plotted films, most notably The Most Dangerous Game, Surviving the Game, and Hard Target. The film actually does work in a little twist, flipping the usual dynamics and making the snobby hunters liberal elites and pitting conservatives as the victims — a fact which makes the initial bellyaching about the film’s purported anti-conservative slant even dumber in retrospect (although the film definitely, absolutely does make fun, and quite effectively so).

Anyway, it’s absurd to me that anyone could get offended at The Hunt for its politics. Its humor skewers both ways, poking fun of political extremism on both sides. And it’s both incredibly funny and violent, often both together thanks to the film’s morbid sense of humor.

The dialogue which accompanies this face is the single best line delivery of 2020.

As the hunt plays out and victims get mowed down, the narrative soon finds its focus on protagonist Crystal (Betty Gilpin), a smart and resourceful southern gal who may just have what it takes to be the unexpectedly non-traditional “final girl” in this horror story.

A number of familiar actors join along for the ride, sportingly on board for the premise which finds most of the cast quickly killed in brutal ways. Glenn Howerton, Emma Roberts, Macon Blair, Amy Madigan, and Sturgill Simpson are among the cannon fodder who populate either side of the conflict.

Action-horror-comedy is a terrific sweet spot for me; when done well this kind of movie just feels like an absolute blast to watch — and this certainly is the case here. I loved The Hunt — hilarious, politically irreverent and astute, occasionally insightful, and most of all a lot of fun.

The Package

The Hunt is now available on a Blu-ray combo pack including DVD and Digital copies. The Blu-ray edition also includes some short bonus features.

My copy came with a slipcover which has glossy accents and embossed titles on the cover and spine.

Special Features and Extras

The Blu-ray includes three short bonus featurettes. They’re very short, cumulatively totaling about ten minutes.

Crafting The Hunt (5:04)
A making-of focusing on the film’s setup, design, and ideology

Death Scene Breakdowns (2:36)
A look at the stunts and effects that go into the film’s scenes of splattery violence.

Athena vs Crystal: Hunter of Hunted? (2:42)
On the “boss battle” finale, a hand-to-hand throwdown between the characters played by Betty Gilpin and Hillary Swank.

A/V Out.

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Except where noted, all 16:9 screen images in this review are direct captures from the disc(s) in question with no editing applied, but may have compression or resizing inherent to file formats and Medium’s image system. All package photography was taken by the reviewer.

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