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Have fun on a wild Hunt


It's as good a satire as you will see at this time of year; and it's a thriller-horror treat.

Enjoy a genial satire with a bizarre hunt motif.

Movie reviewed: The Hunt

Grade: A-

Director: Craig Zobel (Z for Zachariah)

Screenplay: Nick Cuse, Damon Lindelof (Tomorrowland)

Cast: Betty Gilpin (Isn’t It Romantic), Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby)

Rating: R

Runtime: 1h 29 m

By: John DeSando

Liberals hunting conservatives? You got it! Craig Zobel directs a satire also a thriller also a horror film. At this gloomy time of year for movies and politics, The Hunt is nectar for those with strong opinions about political horrors and film satires. It’s so good President Trump condemned it without having seen it.

Not only is this film sharp about Democrats and Republicans, it also aims its gun at Trump: Just name mock-worthy political and social subjects about which democrats, republicans, and Trump have weighed in on and writers Nick Cuse and Damon Lindelof will deliver. Moreover, it’s no small feat to balance biting satire with horrific horror tropes—They do it by offending everyone.

This is a Blumhouse Production, after all, whose gamut of success runs from The Purge to Get Out and everything in between. Just look at its filmography: Cheap horror to quality thriller (Us) are its specialty.

Crystal (Betty Gilpin), one of the conservative (?) survivors of a Richard-Connell-Most-Dangerous-Game-like incident, goes after the liberal elites who are hunting internet-trolling conservatives picked up unknowingly at various sites from Orlando to Staten Island. The victims have been big backers of the Second Amendment and deny climate change, among many sins of which they are accused. When Crystal and head elite Athena (Hilary Swank) mix it up martially, the audience will have a tough time choosing sides much less deciding whether or not it’s actually bi-partisan lovemaking.

When a kimono-clad liberal is accused of culturally appropriating, the laughs are from both sides of the aisle. When a conservative makes fun of a liberal by saying “Go to hell,” a progressive throws back, “I don’t believe in hell.” Neither side wins but the writers. So many apparently main characters in this stylish delight are offed, that the audience might stop trying to guess who is “main.”

The elites are unfortunate to lock horns with highly-trained Crystal, who can work both sides with guns and her hands. Her wry comments are a welcome antidote to contemporary factionalism. She seems to be a conservative but not loathe to bash either side when her gut tells her not to trust them.

Now you know why the film was almost canceled: too partisan. Really! Partisan politics is the actual victim here, skewered finely with fava beans and a nice champagne. Everyone enjoy The Hunt because witty movies are hard to come by at this time of year.

John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, hosts WCBE’s It’s Movie Time and co-hosts Cinema Classics. Contact him at JohnDeSando62@gmail.com.

John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, is host of WCBE's programs It's Movie Time and Cinema Classics, and the podcasts Back Talk and Double Take. Contact him at johndesando52@gmail.com.