The Hunt Blu Ray Review (Universal)
The Hunt is a 2020 horror thriller film produced & directed by Craig Zobel (Compliance, Z for Zachariah, Great World of Sound, & The Leftovers). It was written/produced by Damon Lindelof (Watchmen, The Leftovers, Lost, & World War Z) & Nick Cuse (Watchmen, Maniac, & The Leftovers). It was produced by Jason Blum (Get Out, Happy Death Day 1/2, Split, Glass, The Purge franchise, US, MA, Halloween, The Invisible Man, & Upgrade). It delayed for a year due it’s controversial political views & tragic events taking place in America at the time. It was a victim of the Covid-19 situation & theaters shut down a week after it’s release. The budget was $14 million & it grossed $8.1 million during it’s brief theatrical run.
In a group text with her wealthy friends that includes Liberty (played by: Teri Wyble from Powers & Terminator Genisys), Martin (played by: Dean J. West from LBJ & Preacher), Richard (played by: Glenn Howerton from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia & The Strangers), Peter (played by: Vince Pisani from Little & Tag), & The Doctor (played by: Steve Coulter from Watchmen & The Purge). Athena Stone (played by: Hilary Swank from Million Dollar Baby, Boys Don’t Cry, The Black Dahlia, & The Next Karate Kid) celebrates an upcoming hunt of “deplorables.” Eleven captives which includes Yoga Pants (played by: Emma Roberts from American Horror Story, Scream Queens, Billionaire Boys Club, & Scream 4), Vanilla Nice (played by: Sturgill Simpson from The Dead Don’t Die & Queen and Slim), Staten Island (played by: Ike Barinholtz from Suicide Squad, Blockers, & Neighbors 1/2), Big Red (played by: Kate Nowlin from The Adjustment Bureau & Young Adult), & Dead Sexy (played by: Sylvia Grace Crim from Body Cam & Purgatory Road) wake up gagged in a forest for the hunt. In a clearing, they find a cache of weapons & keys to their gags but five are killed by an unseen enemy & three escape over a barbed-wire fence to a gas station.
The station’s owners, Miranda “Ma” (played by: Amy Madigan from Streets of Fire, The Dark Half, Carnivàle, & Field of Dreams) & Julius “Pop” (played by: Reed Birney from Titans & House of Cards) identify their location as Arkansas. The three escapees, each kidnapped from a different part of the United States realize their situation’s similarity to the conspiracy theory “Manorgate”. A fourth captive named Crystal Creasey (played by: Betty Gilpin from Stuber, The Grudge, Glow, & Isn’t It Romantic) arrives at the gas station but she noticed right away that the station’s cigarettes are too expensive for Arkansas. A truck outside hides Croatian number plates under false Arkansas plates. Crystal & another captive Gary (played by: Ethan Suplee from Mallrats, Remember the Titans, American History X, & Motherless Brooklyn) board a train car full of refugees. Gary believes to be crisis actors & makes a scene in front of the Croatian soldiers. Crystal is taken to a refugee camp. Crystal meets another escaped prisoner named Don (played by: Wayne Duvall from Richard Jewell & The Kitchen) at the camp. An American envoy Oliver, arrives to take them to the embassy. Crystal doesn’t trust him so he gets ditched. They track down their wealthy hunters with their consultant Sgt. Dale (played by: Steve Mokate from The Leftovers & Cherokee Creek). Athena calls out to Don via radio, asking if he killed Crystal. This causes all kinds of paranoia & problems between the two allies. Crystal is determined to face off with the mastermind & lead hunter Athena. The two finally meet in a bloody showdown. Who will make it out alive????
The Hunt is my current 2nd favorite film of 2020 & it’s the most entertaining feature released this year so far. The script is so much fun. It’s brutal, hilarious, & it never slows down. The dialogue is very witty, it’s loaded with quotable material & one liners. I can see why some people were turned off by this because it does get very political at points. I love how The Hunt started with so much mystery to it. You had no clue who was the main character for a little bit. Every time it seemed like they had one, they were killed off soon after. It’s full of a nice variety of wacky characters. Honestly, a decent amount of them you want them to die. This is an updated version of “The Most Dangerous Game” & I personally love the humans hunting humans sub-genre. It’s one of my all time favorites. I will watch any film with this concept because it always grabs my attention right away. The Hunt delivers in the violence & gore department, it has more kills compared to most slashers. Betty Gilpin was a blast in The Hunt, I was a huge fan of her role & her performance in this. I’ve seen her in a few things mainly in comedies but she was a bad ass here. Oscar winner Hilary Swank comes up with a completely different portrayal that you have never seen from her before. She is a fantastic villain & a great opposite for the Crystal character. The fight between Betty Gilpin & Hilary Swank reminded me of the ones from Kill Bill. The Hunt has a little bit of everything like horror, action, drama, & a decent amount of comedy. The supporting cast was great plus it had so many recognizable faces in it in smaller roles like Wayne Duvall, Ethan Suplee, Amy Madigan, Reed Birney, Emma Roberts, Ike Barinholtz, & Glenn Howerton. The replay value is very strong with this, I enjoyed it even more with this review. This is a must watch & own, HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Universal! This 1080p (2.39:1) looks amazing on blu ray, I am shocked that it didn’t get a 4K release. It has a variety of unique locations that cater to certain characters here. It has a few audio options which includes English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, Spanish: DTS 5.1, & French (Canada): DTS 5.1 on the release. The Hunt is action packed & full of mayhem so it definitely tests out your speaker set up. The dialogue is crystal (lol) clear, all the gruesome moments are elevated, & the music has a killer boost to it. It also has English SDH, French, & Spanish subtitles.
Let’s discuss the special features from Universal! “Crafting the Hunt” is a little over 5 minutes. It has interviews with director Craig Zobel, producer Jason Blum, writer Damon Lindelof, actors Betty Gilpin, Hilary Swank, Ike Barinholtz, & various members of the crew. They chat about their characters. They talk about the weapons, costume, & production design for the feature. They bring up the concept & what you would think after viewing it. “Death Scene Breakdowns” is almost 3 minutes. It has interviews with director Craig Zobel, producer Jason Blum, writer Damon Lindelof, actors Ike Barinholtz, Christopher Berry, Sylvia Grace Crim, & various members of the crew. They go over some of the brutal death scenes from the film. They chat about the visual & special fx for The Hunt. They talk about some of the demises that stand out from the film. “Athena vs. Crystal: Hunter or Hunted?” is almost 3 minutes. It has interviews with director Craig Zobel, writer Damon Lindelof, actors Betty Gilpin, Hilary Swank, & various members of the crew. It focuses on the two main characters for the movie. They chat about their big fight at the end. They talk about working with each other & their experience on it. It comes with a slipcover, a digital code, & a DVD copy of the release. This is my 2nd favorite film from 2020 so far, it needs to be added to your collection ASAP! It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!