‘The Hunt’ – movie review



Betty Gilpin is captured by Yosef Kasnetzkov in “The Hunt.”

Ricky Miller, Entertainment Editor

I saw “The Hunt” at a press-only screening earlier this year before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of our country. The film version of “The Hunt” is the latest release from the Universal Pictures distribution line, produced by Blumhouse Productions, which was also involved with the “The Purge” franchise. They also did the surprisingly well-told “Happy Death Day” movies and last year’s awesome “Glass,” which finished the M. Night Shyamalan-directed series that started with “Unbreakable” in 2000.

I usually do not like horror movies, but this one falls into the category of something I do like: sardonic, tongue-in-cheek tales that are not to be taken too seriously. When it comes down to it, “The Hunt” is just an old-fashioned update of “The Most Dangerous Game,” wherein human beings are hunted down as the ultimate prey. The original short story was written by Richard Connell and published in Collier’s magazine in 1924.

The main characters in “The Hunt” are Betty Gilpin (“Stuber,” “Isn’t It Romantic”) as well as two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank (“Million Dollar Baby,” “Boys Don’t Cry”). The duo engage in a plethora of witty banter and fight scenes aplenty. The top-billed stars of “The Hunt” are Emma Roberts and Ike Barinholtz, but they exit before the end of the first act. Also enjoyable is Ethan Suplee from director Kevin Smith’s underrated “Mallrats” (1995). His character has a tough time with a “Magic Eye” painting and can’t find the hidden object while everyone else can see the hidden fisherman. Suplee looks slimmer and healthier in this movie than he did in “Mallrats.” Amy Madigan from Walter Hill’s “Streets of Fire” (1984) also supports. In this one, she and her screen husband co-own a small store off of the beaten path.

As a side note, but not to give anything away, there are a lot of dead bodies in “The Hunt,” but most of the deaths are taken as tongue-in-cheek. “The Hunt” should not be taken too seriously since the people in the flick are characters and not actual people you would encounter in real life. The characters represent truly evil personas no one would like to hang around with, hence just passers-by in the everyday world.

“The Hunt” serves as a solid 90 minute time-waster that almost delivers in said departments.

Grade: C+