The Hunt

The Hunt ★★★½

Another riotous schedule-filler from Blumhouse (man, they're good at this stuff!), this over-in-a-flash action-horror has 12 Americans wake up in a field, and before they can stop to introduce themselves to each other, find that they're being shot at from afar. They were given a few seconds to grab weapons from a selection of firearms, knives and explosives, but for most of them, it's going to be too little, too late.

This is a movie with several false starts, each one catching you off-guard as you think you know who you're going to be following throughout the story, only for something to happen that makes you reset your expectations and start again. I like that - it keeps you on your toes. The same goes for the motive and backgrounds of the hunters and the hunted. We do eventually focus on one particular character: she's a really commanding presence, and that's enough to make you root for her. Even with her, the script doesn't bother stopping to give us her backstory. Instead, everything we need to know about her is right there in the performance, and it's an enigmatic one. Who is this girl? Does it matter? Not especially. But she's great to watch!

The film's big gimmick - and also the thing that will probably make it feel dated fairly quickly - is that the two opposing sides are essentially Republicans vs Democrats, specifically conspiracy theorist right-wingers vs the wealthy liberal elite. There are some rather lame jokes made at the equal expense of both Second Amendment idiocy and woker-than-thou one-upmanship, but it's an interesting change to bring genuine political ideas into something like this, no matter how superficially. And because the movie doesn't seem to take sides, the final showdown is arguably the most unpredictable in horror since Freddy vs Jason! Perhaps your preferred side doesn't win. Don't worry; it's only fiction!

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