The Hunt: A Psychological Thriller – But is it Too Satirical?

Now, I am a sucker for the Purge and all its spinoffs. Despite them always doing poorly on rotten tomatoes, I think these films are great. Not because they are scary in anyway, these aren’t the sort of films that would have you up all night, but they will have you hooked from the get-go with their action fuelled, unpredictable nature that honestly has me on the edge of my seat with my heart pulsing.

This review will have spoilers, so if you haven’t watched the movie, look away now.

I was excited at the premise of this movie, as it’s from the same studio. If it was anything like the Purge’s counterparts, I would be in for a treat. The whole, this movie doesn’t have a release date, the clever marketing campaign and its illusive, intense nature added to its allure. Even Trump came out with disapproval of the movie and its connections to politics.

And for the most part, the movie achieves its action packed, suspense that I only have seen from the Purge movies. Emma Roberts, arguably the most famous actor in the film, is killed off within a few scenes very early on, which is amusing and unexpected from the American Horror Story actress.

The horse headdress routine at the start adds a little Saw style creepy twist that dances on the edge of the horror genre. Sadly (depending on how much you like horror) the rest of the movie does little to build up the fear factor.

But where the movie falls flat is the weird cliché, rich white liberals hunting down right-wing trolls. It’s hard to believe that people who have been training for months for this event, were taken down by a single ex-army officer working on her own. The leading lady kills around 15 people single-handedly with little issues and serious wounds have little effect on her.

Each character is set to embody a stereotype of the American people, from the basic Ivanka supporting white woman, to immigrants, to rednecks. It attempts to signal the divide between the richest in society and the poor, a classic bourgeoisie v proletariat divide, where anyone is hireable for the right price. But this is a narrative we’ve already seen in the Purge movies and it’s frankly overdone.

Plus, I didn’t really get that it was supposed to be political, apart from the obvious references and quotes such as Hilary Clinton’s ‘deplorables.’ I mean, the whole revenge on internet trolls – I’ll go and do what the internet trolls want from me shtick – is beyond weird. The entire revenge plot that the arch-villain really just hates the one ‘snowball’ is just as farfetched.

But the dialogue, the scenes, it’s a funny movie. The rich people’s banter is sickly enough to laugh at, the ending scene of the heroine flying in her dead opponent’s private jet, is funny. I think the movie follows a more satirical nature then serious horror, and this is evident throughout the movie.

 I think its worth a watch, but don’t be expecting a masterful, psychological horror movie. Expect a suspenseful, intense movie, with twists, turns and more importantly, humour. And you’ll enjoy no doubt.

Published by Heather Dalgleish

21-year-old journalism student. Author and illustrator for In Full Bloom Magazine

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