Six months ago, THE HUNT was scheduled to be released in theaters across the country; the film ended up getting delayed due to two mass shootings that took place just a few weeks before. Two weeks ago, the movie finally hit theaters - but the funny thing now is that just one week into its release, the film has already been released digitally due to the pandemic currently affecting the globe. The Hunt has had nothing but trouble making it into the eyes of horror fans - which only helps grow the anticipation for "the most talked about movie of the year that no one's actually seen." Soulless Cult bit the bullet, shelled out our twenty bucks to rent the movie and dove right in to the much anticipated hunter thriller - and while the film isn't bad by any means, it definitely doesn't play out the way the trailer seems to suggest. Regardless, it's a blood filled, every-man-for-himself stay-alive fest, and it makes for a decently fun hour and a half.
A dozen strangers wake up in the middle of nowhere - some with ball gags in their mouths - not knowing how they got there, or where they even are. They are greeted by a giant wooden crate that - once opened - reveals a full artillery of weapons that the group assume are supposed to be used against each other. But little do they know, they're a part of Manorgate - a conspiracy where wealthy, liberal elite hunt people for sport. As the film unfolds, you'll learn that these individuals were not randomly chosen to be a part of this sinister game: they were chosen because of their conservative agenda and their work and/or comments written online. The hunters don't realize what they're up against when one of the kidnapped fights back and leaves a trail of blood in her wake, determined to make it out alive.
Almost instantly, you'll be greeted by a ton of blood and gore as the basis for the film takes off. You'll get plenty of "oh shit" moments once the fun unfolds and the kidnapped begin to die off. There's some pretty great shots that come from the intro to the film that will grab you and pull you in. You'll be thinking about how wicked this movie is about to be after witnessing just how fucked up the movie is willing to be so early on. Unfortunately, after the first half hour things definitely taper off and the overall mood of the film definitely takes a different turn than I was expecting - still good, just different. Honestly, though, the film starts super strong and ends pretty strong as well, so once you get through some of the more story-driven scenes, you'll be greeted with more bloodshed and chaos, so don't worry.
The majority of the movie follows a beautiful hunted girl named Crystal (Betty Gilpin) who is an ex-servicewoman - need I say more? She puts up with zero bullshit, and doesn't mind getting a little dirty to put an end to this sick, fucked up game going on at the Manor. Her words are well thought out, but her ability to handle herself is beyond words; she has some truly badass fight scenes and moments throughout the movie, and she ended up being an awesome main character that you don't mind spending your time with. One of her fight scenes in particular looks, feels, and acts exactly like a fight taken out of a Kill Bill movie - if you know what that means, you know it's probably pretty fucking cool. I'm really trying hard not to give away too many details about the movie, because there are definitely some twists and turns you'll want to see for yourself, but just know going into it, it's a bloodfest that starts off pretty politically charged, but eventually that whole dynamic seems to dissipate as the film progresses.
The Hunt is one of those movies I'd say watch once if you can find it for cheap - I wouldn't recommend paying $20 just to rent the film. If you can rent it for a few bucks digitally or through Red Box, I'd definitely say go for it, even if it's just for the first crazy thirty minutes of the movie. I think horror fans will love the bloody carnage that goes down, but the horror kinda dies down quickly after that - a part of the reason I can't suggest hardcore horror fans spending $20 to rent the film. Gilpin plays a total badass who is fun to watch kick a bunch of psychopath ass, but it's not anything crazy we haven't seen before, honestly. Like I said earlier, the film is far from bad - it's just not what the trailers make it out to be, that's all. Still, give it a watch if you have some time and a can score it for a few bucks. You'll have a bloody good time!