Crisis Babies

Waking up in an open field, strangers find a wooden crate. Inside, there’s a pig. And guns. In a “moths to a flame” moment, the entirely American pack rush to the weapons, assuming their safety with fingers on the trigger. Then the shooting starts. Turns out they weren’t so safe.

There’s an irony in The Hunt’s story, ravenously chewing on the country’s division, its theatrical release postponed because of events causing said division, then falling from theaters completely as people started to place blame for a global pandemic. The Hunt is explicit in its morbid, calculated satire – we’re at a point with everyone so dug in, The Hunt was allowed to happen in the first place.

The masterstroke to The Hunt is avoiding a centrist stance via caricature. There’s the hyper liberal elite snowflakes who set up this scheme to murder the conspiracy-flinging, conservative deplorables. Except, there’s Crystal (Betty Gilpin). She’s thrust into this thing, not so much without a side, so much as someone who needs help.

The Hunt inflames. It’s the wrong film for the now

Rather than right and left wing stereotypes suggesting policies, they fight, leaving the Crystal’s of the world stuck in limbo. There’s no discussion about walls, immigration, or mass shootings – rather, the niggling irritants that lead to The Hunt. A grammar mistake, a forum post, podcasts, snippy sexism retorts; there’s no clean foundation to build on because the building crumbled on top.

Few studio films attempt a story this inherently irresponsible. Or, this revolting. The comic attraction to gun violence spills blood in ludicrous ways. Heads explode, legs sever, guts spill out; it’s unending nonsense, not unlike the current political discourse. Crystal says, “They’re trying to kill me. I don’t give a shit why,” which undoubtedly reflects the feelings of anyone involved in gun violence. Meanwhile, the two sides distort their arguments in increasingly hypocritical ways, leading to a grand twist at the end that lays into those seeking social media justice.

The Hunt inflames. It’s the wrong film for the now. Delaying the release was appropriate, and arguably, it’s still too soon considering the home disc release coincides with historic protests. But with distance – assuming the USA doesn’t become a literal reflection of this movie before then – The Hunt will stand as a dark, parodist masterpiece. But, it needs so, so much time.

Video

The digitally captured imagery doesn’t tinker with things too much. Sublime clarity runs into a singular issue with noise; the rest is totally unblemished. Sharp resolution drives detail to the forefront, consistently textured and wholly impressive. Whether long shots in forests or close-ups indoors, detail maintains a stable, clean presence.

Bright contrast nicely pairs to the dense black levels, giving The Hunt stable dimensionality. The finale makes for a great challenge, a mixture of low interior light, but strong exterior backlight. It works. Again, consistent. That’s a key selling point to Universal’s Blu-ray.

Color shifts the palette around, at times heavy on blue, even an overcast. Still, primaries leave their mark. Splatter certainly shows its vividness – blood red leaves an imprint. Nice flesh tones remain stable and pure.

Audio

There’s a fantastic low-end crunch to the DTS-HD 7.1 mix. Gunfire, when in close, leaves a proper mark. Even hand-to-hand fights reach powerful lows. The score and some ambient effects (like a train rolling by) also bulk up and extend the range.

Sadly, the soundstage isn’t prominent, even forgotten. Expected flourishes like debris from a missed shot or an arrow slung from off-screen find a place. Those additional surrounds barely see use, restricting things to a five speaker setup that’s… fine. Sadly, not much else though.

Extras

Three totally bland EPK style featurettes barely cross 10-minutes combined.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

The Hunt
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
5

Movie

If the reaction is to reflexively shy away from The Hunt, it’s best to ask why that is since the satire is reflecting a current reality.

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User Review
3 (1 vote)

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