Other movies have shown us class warfare: District 9, The Hunger Games, Fight Club, Mad Max, even last year’s Knives Out. But the Universal film that was released early digitally because of COVID-19 is now available for purchase and download, delivering a crazy, violently comic story about the way that classes just can’t get along, in The Hunt.
Crystal Creasey (Betty Gilpin) is our “heroine.” But the opening moments (after a bit of unnecessary preface) of the film, as various lower class/middle class people find themselves awake in the country/forrest, gagged and previously drugged, are … frantic. We think we’re being shown who the main “good guy” is and BANG! they’re dead. Then, we think we recognize someone and … BANG!
I know, I know, this is horror, but somehow it comes across more reasonably as something that COULD happen than some of the regular style thrillers we’re spoonfed each year. Seriously, the star holds onto the outside of a plane! No, he survived his 17th car crash this movie! Yes, he found the only magazine of ammunition that fits that particular brand of gun. No, in The Hunt, we’re challenged to consider what it means to survive – and how the metaphor of class warfare plays out.
If the politics are stretched and pulled all over the place, that’s okay. It’s enough for us to consider what it looks like for us to really consider a human’s worth – and whether that human has a right to free speech or not. It’s a stunning situation, that while this is played out as a class thing, it could very well be about race or religion or anything else. We don’t think our words matter, that we can safely lob grenades on social media and not pay for them – but they do. And on the other side, we think that our feelings give us a right to attack back, to hit harder – and we overreact.
The Hunt will mess with you – but no lie, it’s pretty entertaining. And for a guy who can’t stand horror, it kept me captivated until the very end. Is there a sequel? Who knows. Did we really think we’d get multiple helpings of The Purge?