The Corner

Film & TV

Do People Think The Hunt Is an Instructional Video?

Betty Gilpin in The Hunt (2019) (IMDb/Blumhouse Productions)

I’m not quite sure why folks on the Right are outraged that Universal Pictures has made The Hunt, a film that depicts rich liberals hunting down and murdering blue-collar conservatives, in a movie that appears to update the classic short story The Most Dangerous Game.

Or more precisely, the outrage is following a preexisting template that doesn’t really match what we know about the film so far. Here’s a creative team whom, probably out of a mere appetite for “a shocking twist!” than any political statement, made the snooty liberals be the bad guys and the red state folk as the good guys, or at least the victims. We could fairly respond…

“It’s a funny idea, but liberals hate guns and hunting so much, they would never go for it in real life.”

“With so much politically motivated violence lately, this feels like bad taste.”

“This is quite insightful, horror movie makers, to recognize that liberals have so fully embraced dehumanizing language about their opponents that it would only be a small step for them to treat their political opposition as something less than human . . . or maybe the hunt illustrates a natural extension of attitudes that deny others an inherent right to life.”

Instead the criticism seems to assume that the powerful rich people who kidnap and hunt down ordinary citizens are the good guys in the movie, which certainly isn’t the impression that the commercials and trailers give.

Fox News quotes a media critic who declares, “Hollywood clearly thinks it is OK to stereotype so-called deplorables and set them up for a hunt.” Except . . . judging from the trailer, the liberals hunting them are the bad guys!

Another satirist quoted in the article declares, “It’s remarkable to me that the left blames Donald Trump’s rhetoric for violence, then literally spends millions to normalize the killing of people based on politics.” Normalize? This is a horror movie. Do audiences root for the person doing the killing in horror movies? In The Purge movie series, are audience members supposed to be rooting for the violent mobs?

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