Twelve strangers wake up in a clearing. They don’t know where they are, or how they got there. They don’t know they’ve been chosen – for a very specific purpose – The Hunt.
Far less interesting than the controversy that’s swirling about it, this is a shamelessly exploitive piece of work, sporting a confused agenda that is at war with itself, which may very well be the point. Graphic in its violence and muddled in its politics, “The Hunt,” much like 2014’s “The Interview,” will likely be quickly forgotten, remembered only for the misguided turmoil that surrounded it.
Ultimately, the film puts forth the notion that the real culprit in our current culture war is that through the media, so much misinformation is dispensed that the truth about who we really are and what we stand for has become lost. Reacting to extremist news items and personal postings without thinking while assuming the worst of those we oppose has led to a blurring of reality that is destroying us all, an idea supported once we learn what caused this caustic hunt in the first place.
And while there is some merit to this theme, Zobel botches its delivery. He’s much more interested in splattering the screen with gore than crafting a coherent message. I can excuse a bad movie, but the danger that lies here is that in not providing a definitive statement, in the end all “The Hunt” contains are broad characterizations of people spouting hate that some viewers will use as justification for their own deplorable behavior. Far from an instrument of healing, this film will only cause the divide that separates us to grow.