The Hunt (2020) — Movie Review

by KJ Proulx

Betty Gilpin in ‘The Hunt’ [Credit: Universal Pictures]

It’s hard not to think about the controversy of a movie when the media all over the world was covering the fact that this film was delayed, due to violence in the world. Going into this movie, I was worried about how similar it was going to feel to the real-world events of the last couple of years. Normally I can just brush off reality and enjoy a movie for what it is, but after watching this movie, even I found myself wondering why it was delayed. It’s really just a more brutal version of a film like The Hunger Games. Regardless, this is a very violent film, but it’s all meant to give audiences an enjoyable time. While it didn’t always work for me, The Hunt is absolutely the definition of a violent film that’s just trying to provide some adult fun.

After a couple of needless scenes, this film opens with a group of twelve individuals, not knowing where they are or why they are there. Placed in a forest with nothing but weapons, they must flee for their lives, for reasons that will come to light later on. The first act of this movie is very enjoyable and my jaw was on the floor on a couple of occasions, but I found myself very uninterested in the events to follow after that. This is a very rushed movie that ultimately feels dull by the end. Once the third act of this film began, I just didn’t seem to care anymore.

Where this film shines is in its shock factor. While I don’t commend movies for showcasing violence for the sake of violence and nothing else, the use of it here felt like it was a part of the world being presented. The first act of this movie, as I mentioned, is quite shocking and I was curious where the movie would go. Sadly, the first act of this film should’ve been how the majority of it all played out. The best part about this movie is over far too quickly. With that said, Betty Gilpin as Crystal (the main character of the film) was very likeable in this role. It was due to her committed performance that I bought into the events unfolding on-screen.

This film suffers from a very weak third act, which was a shame. If this film started the way it should have and left everything ambiguous, it would’ve been so much cooler to see revelations later on. With that said, this movie chooses to just give you all the answers, before the climax even unfolds, so that’s why I found myself not caring by the end. It was clear that director Craig Zobel was trying to make a fun, violent piece of cinema and the duo of Nick Cuse and Damon Lindelof as the writers was promising as well, so why did this movie fall apart? It really didn’t have to. It’s really a mess when it comes to explaining what has really been going on.

In the end, The Hunt is a fun movie at times and surprised me on multiple occasions, but those moments were too far and in between. I can recommend this movie to fans of this type of film, but it absolutely won’t impress many others. I’m more positive about it than negative, but there were absolutely major details about the movie that I didn’t like. Due to things going on in the world at the moment, The Hunt is now available to rent on all streaming services. If you’re a fan of violent movies, you may get a kick out of this one, so take my very mild recommendation with a grain of salt.

Rating: 3/5

Check out the trailer below:

I see as many films as I can, simply because I love sharing my thoughts and maybe sparing someone from wasting their time.