Anthony Freeze’s review published on Letterboxd:
By far the best part of The Hunt for me was Betty Gilpin, and Hilary Swank. I really enjoyed both of their performances, and you can tell they’re having a good time. Therefore, I had a good time with them. Betty Gilpin is a star in the making and I’m really looking to seeing her on the big screen even more. I’ve seen her talented skills in the Netflix show GLOW, and now in The Hunt. However, she has struggled a bit with movies like The Grudge, and Stuber which wasn’t her fault, but I see a bright future for her.
When it comes to Hilary Swank. There isn’t much I need to say about the two time Oscar winner. She puts her all into pretty much everything she does.
I also think The Hunt did a good job of developing the antagonist. We get introduced to the character in a very mysterious way as their identity is kept a secret. We also get a decent backstory and why they created this sick game of hunting people in the first place.
The Hunt also does a pretty good job at building up to the climax in the 3rd Act. Everything is boiling to the point where our protagonist meets the antagonist, and their encounter did not disappoint. We’re given a great back and forth match up where both characters are equally matched, and what plays out is really exciting. Also, the choreography in this scene is well done that I think even John Wick would be impressed.
As always though. As much as I enjoyed the things above. The Hunt does have a good bit of problems.
The Hunt isn’t concerned with telling a cohesive story in one genre. In a lot of ways this can be seen as a comedy, thriller, and a horror movie, but instead of mastering one genre it becomes mediocre in all of them. Now, that’s not to say a movie can’t have more than one genre or tone. In fact, my favorite film of 2019, Parasite, does this extremely well. However, The Hunt doesn’t seem to have a clear cut goal of what it’s trying to convey.
Although, The Hunt doesn’t quite know how to convey its message. What I can appreciate is that The Hunt tried to have themes with a message on topics such as extremism, and liberal and conservative beliefs. The narrative of the movie also doesn’t choose sides about who’s right or wrong, but does poke fun at the flaws of both sides. I found this to be entertaining sometimes. However, although some of the situations are ridiculously funny. The jokes don’t always land because it’s hard to tell when the narrative is trying to be serious or wants us to laugh. So, many times the mixing of the two left me conflicted. Essentially, The Hunt is a social commentary, but it’s also not trying to be a social commentary.
I also felt that there were too many characters, and many I wasn’t able to identify within myself. We also don’t learn much about many of them including the protagonist. That character deserved to be developed a lot more, and I didn’t feel compelled to follow her story if she even had one. The Hunt is mainly plot based, and it could have been more interesting if we learned more concrete things about the protagonist a long the way.
In the beginning we’re also not even sure who the main character is. Some may find that to be interesting, and one of the fun moments of the movie. However, to me it felt like the narrative was trying to be smarter than it thought it was. Based on the trailers, we’re already given a good idea of who’s the main character. So, I felt like I was just waiting, and waiting for the main character to actually be revealed. I felt the same way about the antagonist as well. Although, I like the mystery the antagonist had. I felt like the trailer pretty much gave that away too.
Overall, The Hunt may be divisive, but there’s some fun to be had with Betty Gilpin and Hilary Swank.