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Quick-fire entertainment with a satirical twist




FILM REVIEW: THE HUNT (15), PREMIUM VIDEO ON DEMAND, VIEWED ON AMAZON PRIME, OUT NOW

CAST: BETTY GILPIN, HILARY SWANK, IKE BARINHOLTZ, WAYNE DUVALL, ETHAN SUPLEE, STURGILL SIMPSON, AMY MADIGAN, REED BIRNEY & EMMA ROBERTS

RUNNING TIME: 1 HR 30 MINS, DIRECTOR: CRAIG ZOBEL

The Hunt (15) (32358233)
The Hunt (15) (32358233)

With the coronavirus ‘lockdown’ in place, movie distributors have made history by launching films on an ‘early access’ Premium Video on Demand service – after only being released at the cinema in the past few weeks.

While the price is a little heftier than usual – about the cost of a ticket and a half at £15.99 to try to recoup some of that cinematic lost revenue – one film that didn’t have time to flourish at the cinema was this noteworthy satirical action-thriller that sees the ‘elite’ hunt human ‘reprobates’ for sport.

But while it might not be as clever as it thinks it is, there’s enough smart twists and turns – with a plentiful supply of ‘firmly-embedded-in-cheek’ humour – to make this a little bit different.

The Hunt (15) (32358268)
The Hunt (15) (32358268)

And there’s a great lead performance from Betty Gilpin, who has already shined on Netflix’s wrestling-based TV series Glow.

But if you’re expecting a paint-by-numbers actioner solely based on humans hunting humans – like the Steve Austin-led The Condemned or Ice T-headlining Surviving the Game – then you may be a tad disappointed.

This is not an adult version of The Hunger Games that some may crave – as this is just a backdrop to the social commentary it’s trying to portray.

When 12 strangers – including Gilpin, Bad Neighbours’ star Ike Barinholtz and We’re the Millers actress Emma Roberts – wake up on the outskirts of a forest, they don’t know why they are there, or that they’ve been chosen for a specific purpose, known as The Hunt.

This is an event that has been organised by a group of ‘snobby’ rich people – led by Oscar-winner Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby) – to have fun ‘taking out’ people ‘beneath them’ that have battled ‘the system’.

But they don’t realise they have ex-military in their midst in the form of Gilpin’s Afghanistan-serving Crystal Creasey, and when mayhem takes centre stage over politics – this was originally delayed from release last year in the wake of the El Paso supermarket shootings in America – it never really takes itself too seriously.

And for a night in isolation, hunting this down for quick-fire bloody entertainment with a satirical twist isn’t a bad move – as this will take the worry of the coronavirus out of your cross hairs for at least ninety minutes.

Rating: 3.5/5

By Gavin Miller



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