The Hunt

Rating: 4 out of 5.

While certainly not contending for movie of the year. The Hunt turned out to be an undemanding, dark comedy that had me on the edge of my seat. This movie deserves a solid 4 stars, if for no other reason than the delivery of the line, ‘I don’t think they believe you, Gary’. I enjoyed the familiar trope flipped on its head and appreciated that I had a genuine distaste for every one of the characters. The victims were ‘deplorables’ (according to both the movie, and, apparently, Hillary Clinton), and the hunters, despite appearing to be left wing Samaritans, were also bloodthirsty millionaires. I loved to hate them all. Our heroine is affectionately nicknamed ‘Snowball’ by her captors – a reference to a little known, niche piece of literature named Animal Farm (I’m joking of course, although the writers didn’t seem to be). However, if the Hunt had ended about 40 minutes before it actually did, this film would be 4.5 stars at least. It is greatly let down by the third act, wherein Snowball decides it is not enough to have merely killed the majority of the hunters; she must now track down and murder Athena Stone herself. Not only did this raise more questions than it answered, but it also led to a rather unconvincing climax to the film. After a dramatic fight to the death (which I believe does deserve credit for staying far away from the ‘two sexy women claw at each other’ cliché) Snowball is stabbed by the blade of a food processor. As a last-ditch attempt, however, she manages to hug Athena close enough to her body to kill her opponent. While ridiculous in of itself, the scene is further let down when Snowball pulls the blade out of her stomach and appears perfectly fine as she pulls on one of Athena’s dresses, slaps on some makeup, and catwalks down to the awaiting private jet. While I am not one to complain about watching Betty Gilpin strut down a runway in a flowing black dress, I did feel as though I wanted more from her character. There was barely a whiff of a backstory as to why she was there, or, for that matter, why any of the hunters were there either. I can appreciate that a despairing and deranged millionaire like Athena Stone may be inclined to trap a group of right-wing fanatics and hunt them down, but it was unconvincing that her friends would follow her down this serial killer route. All in all, I expected about 10 more minutes of explanation of who on earth Snowball was and why she felt a desperate need to hunt down Athena. Perhaps this is a set up for a sequel, although I don’t know what that would be. But, if you’re sat with some friends and some beers one night, slap on the Hunt, and get ready to laugh at some truly horrendous characters and gory, blood-heavy fight scenes.

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