The Hunt (2020) (2020)
February 13, 2022 5:56 PM - Subscribe

Twelve strangers wake up in a clearing. They don't know where they are or how they got there.
posted by porpoise (24 comments total)
 
Not entirely sure how this came onto my radar yesterday, but Gilpin (G.L.O.W.) sealed the deal. Only after I started watching it now did I recalled that I had seen it already during my personal "lost months" last year.

Excellent and sly action-er movie. Gilpin is marvelous.

Lampoons the "far Left elitists" effectively without going too overboard but isn't sympathetic to the regressives either.
posted by porpoise at 6:04 PM on February 13


Forgot to mention, IMDB doesn't tag this as a Comedy, but it certainly is.
posted by porpoise at 6:13 PM on February 13


Everything I've heard about this film paints it as "if the people who made God's Not Dead came across a copy of The Most Dangerous Game in their megachurch's library".
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:57 PM on February 13 [4 favorites]


Hm. You might have heard that from the kind of person that didn't understand the irony of Starship Troopers?
It does use the Most Dangerous Game framework, but after the first 20 minutes or so, you should pick up that it's a bit more Tucker and Dale vs. Evil.

Gilpin's amazing. Worth it just for her in the convenience store scene. But it's not a one for those who can't handle the -slapstick of sudden violent deaths- type of black comedy.
posted by bartleby at 8:33 PM on February 13 [3 favorites]


No, what I heard is that it basically takes every horrible thing conservatives like to believe about liberals, makes it true, and features a working-class right-wing underdog killing them, as they deserve. A character is correctly guessed to be a death-deserving liberal because he believes the protagonist when she says she was attacked, that kind of thing.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:57 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


This is the livetweet I read, and I've seen no other sources until now that said otherwise.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:10 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


I don’t think this film has any idea of what it’s doing, but I was entertained enough.

Gilpin carries it completely and I enjoyed the tension of not knowing how long her turn was going to last. It made the senseless killings of lead characters earlier on actually serve a slight point. But that was the only real meaning I could glean from this film.

I very much appreciated the shorter runtime too.
posted by iamkimiam at 11:13 PM on February 13


Oh boy, tweets. Nevermind then. If you've already had someone watch it for you...don't bother, I guess?

Maybe I'm naive, but I take their word for it re: the first and last minute of this interview.
The hyperbolic exaggeration is intentional. Any 'that's the joke' / "but I don't find it funny" argument is ultimately pointless, no?

It's not a direct comparison, but...If you enjoy the occasional 'caricatures of teenage stereotypes go to the woods and get murdered in creative ways' hoot-at-the-screen with friends flick, you might like this.
But if you are the type that feels compelled to stand up and shout "Hey! cheerleaders aren't really like that! They're hardworking athletes who deserve our respect and admiration!" at them, then stay away from this one.
posted by bartleby at 11:59 PM on February 13 [3 favorites]


It's not a direct comparison, but...If you enjoy the occasional 'caricatures of teenage stereotypes go to the woods and get murdered in creative ways' hoot-at-the-screen with friends flick, you might like this. But if you are the type that feels compelled to stand up and shout "Hey! cheerleaders aren't really like that! They're hardworking athletes who deserve our respect and admiration!" at them, then stay away from this one.

The difference here, however, is that stereotypes about cheerleaders are not used to bolster a political movement which is at this moment intent on destroying the democratic process.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:25 AM on February 14 [5 favorites]


I thought it would have been better if they had followed up on the "conservatives think we want to hunt them" discussion with the idea that "The Hunt" becomes real precisely because conservatives think it's real. Projection becomes reality, that sort of thing.
posted by SPrintF at 7:21 AM on February 14 [3 favorites]


This is the livetweet I read, and I've seen no other sources until now that said otherwise.

For convenience's sake: here is the start of that thread.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:46 AM on February 14 [1 favorite]


…becomes real precisely because conservatives think it's real. Projection becomes reality, that sort of thing.

Well funnily enough, I thought the concept of sneering joyless liberal elite was a fantasy of the right, yet now I am wondering if the author of that ghastly tweet thread was manifested by the collective minds of the right.

Anyway. The film was enjoyable enough. It gets bonus marks for being the correct length for a comedy (90 mins). It did what it set out to to, which is to entertain for a short while with an absurd premise, some solid performances and a refusal to take itself seriously.
posted by chill at 3:01 PM on February 14 [3 favorites]


Yikes. All the 'I don't think this is an acceptable subject or approach for mid-budget horror comedy' is making me rethink my lineup of Stephen King parody scripts:
Children of the Quorn
Pet Sematary II: Sometimes They Come Black
Christine but it's a Prius
Cujo but it's a Furry
Salem's Lot no, see, the vampires are *gEntRifiCaTioN*
Glinner (you hit a Karen with your car and before dying she curses you with online transphobia)
The Shining "Hello Danni. Welcome to the Saguaro Palm Springs."
posted by bartleby at 5:17 PM on February 14 [4 favorites]


One group of people (associated with a set of political preferences) kidnap members of another group of people (associated with opposing political preferences) and hunt and murder them for sport.

This moots any claims that the film has no implicit politics and that it satirizes both groups equally. The opposing political preferences of the two groups is the organizing principle for the conflict, making its theme inherently political; and because one group is the aggressor and victimizes the other group by kidnapping them and murdering them for sport, that group is necessarily the more villainous by a large margin regardless of what the individuals of the other group have done or do.

Indeed, far from being even-handed, portraying the kidnapped individuals in a negative light is insidious because there is almost nothing those individuals could have done that is worse than kidnapping people and hunting them and murdering them for sport... and being hypocritical while doing so! The kidnappers are truly abhorrent human beings. What's a little light treason in comparison?

The film may have been very funny and it may have cruelly mocked everyone it depicts, but its essential premise precludes anything even remotely even-handed.

And in a society where a surprisingly large portion of people actually believe qanon nonsense about "the left" trafficking children for pedophilia and cannibalism, it's pretty difficult to argue this is harmless satire.

I surely do empathize with being put-out when someone says the bit of media you enjoyed is not (just) aesthetically bad, but bad as in "morally". That feels an awful lot like an accusation based upon guilt by association. I get it.

But I'm surprised that it's not self-evident to everyone that the premise inherently and necessarily takes a side.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:19 PM on February 14 [3 favorites]


Bu that's the point - the caricaturized group is so obviously satire in that it would invalidate the group's identity. And it does; it shows that terrible people are terrible despite what idealogic colouration they purport to be/ display.

Anyone can call themselves vegan, but if they consume animals and animal products, are they really vegans?

I'm not American, granted, but I saw humour to the digs at performative liberalism ("you're wearing a kimono, that's cultural appropriation!"), the infighting within a "big tent" movement, and the equal opportunity grift and posseurism ("So you were never in the shit." "No, I guess I wasn't. But I'm in the shit now, amiright." BLAM).

Neither "side" are particularly bright, and the only person cast in any sort of non-negative light is the downtrodden capable centrist/ apolitical.

I don't expect that this movie caused any significant number of centrists to go full regressive. If someone already believes in QAnon/ Pizzagate, what further possible further harm could this movie do to them?

It feels like some of the digs at performance and infighting have struck a nerve. IMDB's trivia calls out that six of the nine producers are prominent DNC donors.

Sorry, maybe I should have left out the last sentence in my first comment.
posted by porpoise at 11:10 PM on February 14 [4 favorites]


Bu that's the point - the caricaturized group is so obviously satire in that it would invalidate the group's identity.

You
are able to spot the satire. Others truly, honestly, and sincerely believe it - and those who do believe it are voting accordingly.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:08 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


I’d be incredibly curious to see any reviews/responses to this film (from someone that’s actually watched it) that are dangerously missing the point in the way that some of y’all are fearing.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 9:22 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Very funny to see the linked Twitter thread positing that this is a ~dangerous film~ because it includes characterizations of liberals that aren't similar to real liberals at all. Almost as if it's, you know, a joke.
posted by Cpt. The Mango at 11:49 AM on February 15


If it's "a joke" then you may want to tell this dude who says it's a "solid movie about cancel culture".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:57 AM on February 15


That guy has under 300 followers and refers to hamburgers as "media." The person you linked has over 40k followers and did like a 40-tweet thread about The Hunt acting shocked that people could make fun of liberals. Not sure who's doing more to spread misconceptions about the film lol.
posted by Cpt. The Mango at 1:38 PM on February 15


"solid movie about cancel culture" - that dude just blew my mind a little. The NPR elites get cancelled in the sense in which it's usually meant, and seek revenge for it; it wasn't the conservatives getting (unjustly) cancelled, "just" killed. So - a subversive revenge fantasy for conservatives that forces them to sympathize with the liberal killers?

Clearly people who have actually seen it are going to interpret it in different ways, and for some, it will inform or reinforce out-there beliefs about "liberals" that can end with real-world impact. But that post actually makes me think about the movie in a new and interesting way.
posted by mistersix at 9:21 AM on February 16


That guy has under 300 followers and refers to hamburgers as "media." The person you linked has over 40k followers and did like a 40-tweet thread about The Hunt acting shocked that people could make fun of liberals. Not sure who's doing more to spread misconceptions about the film lol.

The people "acting shocked" that people could make fun of liberals aren't likely to be the kinds of people to act with violence upon their misconceptions. The guy with 300 followers is taking this at its word and his followers may do the same. All it takes is one of them with a gun to take things too far lol.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:29 AM on February 16


I thought it was kinda thin. I like Gilpin, but after the gas station scene the movie flatlined.
posted by rewil at 9:31 AM on February 16


Liberal filmmakers: Wouldn’t it be funny if we made a movie in which heightened stereotypes of liberals were actually persecuting conservatives in the way conservatives always claim they’re being persecuted? Lol

Conservatives who are working to normalize killing liberals: The liberals made a movie about hunting and killing conservatives! We need to kill them first!!
posted by ejs at 9:59 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


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