Artpig (Brett)’s review published on Letterboxd:
I'm always quite hesitant when reviewing movies with major political themes in them. I like to look more at the sociological and empathetic aspects of cinema because that is what I've grown up looking at. I go to Church and believe in God and I learned as a kid to treat everyone with compassion and understanding. Well, except for your Nazi and Sexual Predator types that is.
When the 2016 Election was going on, I was very vocal on social media about my dislike for Donald Trump. This would get me in a few arguments on Twitter and Facebook so I decided to drop it. I bring him up on occasion in my reviews but usually to make a point. There's people out there a lot more versed in the world of politics that can handle that fight. I have to bring him up here to just prove that this man will have no idea what he is talking about. If you guys didn't know- The Hunt was delayed for seven months because it was supposed to come out the week after a global shooting. Let us be real here, we live in a world where sadly if you were to release The Hunt without a shooting going on it would never release. Some movies may never release because of that stupid Coronavirus so who even knows anymore. The whole situation reminds me of the episode of Bojack Horseman "Thoughts and Prayers" where they keep delaying the ultra violent film because it reflects the world too much. Yeah, Bojack predicted a movie like this to come out.
To get back to my main point- Trump's gripes with The Hunt is ultimately what got it delayed. This is probably because The President didn't do his research on the themes of the film and read a Twitter headline like a lot of people do now a days. The Hunt operates as a Babylon Bee article turned into a film. This is a satire on the rich liberal elites hunting the right wing and not seeing them as individuals. After all, some of these rich powerful liberals will say they care about people but in the end they only care about issues and not the people involved.
A lot of people are gonna hate this thing that are on both sides of the aisle. If this movie even gets a little bit of traction the Film Twitter community will rip it into shreds. I think some of this will be for good reason. The film is very on the nose with what it is trying to say. Dameon Lindleoff who is an excellent screenwriter definitely isn't subtle when it comes to his ideas. There's a line in the film that made me laugh really hard when one of the liberals holds a shot gun to the head of the conservative they are hunting and go, "and by the way, CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL."
Yeah, there's cringe like that sprinkled through this whole movie. As a satire it works and it is goofy but also I think a smarter direction for this film would be for the lines to be a little blurred. This film portrays the conservatives as the victims to this hunt yet it doesn't let them get away from some of their awful ideologies. There's a character we are introduced to named Gary and he's the worst type of Alex Jones loving conservative you could find and the film spared no expense to show him as a crooked individual.
While this film is nicer to conservatives then most films of its kind, it just shows the inhumanity of the left and shows that while the right have twisted ideas us having to hunt them down for sport could show more about us then we soon realize. It's a noble effort but it doesn't always shine through. I think it would work better if we had more left characters who realize the impact of what they are doing. We have a couple of moments of regret in those characters but not enough. When it comes to both sides being portrayed in this movie, they are a vocal minority of people who exist on the planet Earth.
I understand this is supposed to be the most exaggerated view on our world and the film does a good job exploring that but I wish there was a bit more nuance just because the message of this film could have been stronger. This film has some weighty topics it serves up on and in the end it just becomes shlocky. I think Jordan Peele is able to better understand how to critique, poke fun and make something super riveting with his horror films. The Hunt never gets there because a lot of its satire is pretty toothless and predictable.
There's also a character in this who is a "crisis actor" and that was the one thing in the film that really rubbed me the wrong way. I won't spoil it but the fact they went that direction is really bad in my opinion since so many innocent people have been accused of being crisis actors. I just hope this doesn't give the avenue for people to call BS on people who have gone through actual trauma. I get what they were going for with the character but I think it could be taken the wrong way.
Overall, a weird movie definitely worth giving a watch and getting your own opinions from. Just a warning, most people will hate this thing. I didn't love it or anything but it's at least interesting to dissect.