The Hunt

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
The Hunt Movie Poster Image
Intensely gory but fiendishly funny dark political satire.
  • R
  • 2020
  • 89 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

No clear-cut message, but movie will give viewers plenty to think, talk about. Guns and violence are a huge theme, as are ideas of pre-judging people, creating stereotypes, acting through hate and fear, rather than understanding and sympathy.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Crystal is admirable in the way that she's self-sufficient and highly resourceful, as well as strong and smart, but she also kills ruthlessly without consequences, and her character's past and motivations are kept under wraps. Whenever anyone asks her anything, a typical answer is "I don't care."

Violence

Extreme satirical violence, with heavy blood and gore, many, many deaths. Characters kill each other ruthlessly without consequences. Stabbing in neck with pen, spurting blood. A high-heel shoe to the eyeball results in the entire eyeball, plus the optic nerve, being pulled out of a skull. Heads and bodies explode. Body ripped in half, entrails hanging out. Body impaled by spike. Head run over by car. Neck sliced. Pig shot and killed. Lots and lots of guns, plus grenades, knives, bows and arrows. Martial arts fighting, punching, kicking, etc. Landmines. Poison gas. Poisoned food. Characters hit with blunt objects. Characters gagged. Fall from height. Cauterizing cut with cooking torch.

Sex

Brief objectification of a woman wearing a revealing outfit.

Language

Constant extreme language includes "f--k," "f--king," "s--t," "bulls--t," "a--hole," "c--k," "d--k," "bitch," "son of a bitch," "piss," and "goddamn," and "Christ" and "Jesus Christ" (used as exclamation).

Consumerism

Mention of Google. Pabst Blue Ribbon sign hanging in store.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Cigarette smoking. Characters sip expensive champagne. Characters mention being drugged.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Hunt is a dark, extremely violent satire about a group of wealthy, elite liberals who hunt and kill a group of rural conservatives. It's incredibly graphic, with tons of blood and gore, exploding heads, bodies getting ripped in half, eyeballs being yanked out, etc. People (and a pig) are killed by guns, knives, arrows, and many other means, and there are extended fight scenes. Language is also extra-strong, with uses of "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," and many more. A female character is briefly objectified while wearing a revealing outfit, but otherwise there's no sexual content. Characters smoke cigarettes, sip champagne, and mention being drugged. Despite the controversy around the movie's original, canceled 2019 release, it's actually well-made and clever, skewering everyone equally. Hilary Swank and Betty Gilpin co-star.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMadre662 March 11, 2020

Adults and teens

There is a lot of violence, martial arts and weapons fighting-- some of the deaths are gruesome like when a shoe stabs a person in the face. Very funny and well... Continue reading
Parent of a 10 and 12-year-old Written byLeslie C. March 12, 2020

0 stars!

Disgusting, evil and immoral.

Not worth watching. FAIL!!!!!
Kid, 12 years old March 14, 2020

Gory and brutal comedy satire “battle Royale” film will raise some heads.

After getting postponed from September of 2019 till March the 13th. There is a pretty good reason why they postponed this film. Not because of the Walmart shoot... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byEthan_whaterver March 13, 2020

This movie is not what you think it is...

In the trailer, they make it out to be a bunch of people being hunted for the entire movie and people just killing for malice. They did have an unjustifiable re... Continue reading

What's the story?

In THE HUNT, a woman named Athena (Hilary Swank) texts with a group of liberal friends. They're discussing "the hunt," in which they'll go out and kill a group of "deplorables." Later, a man wakes up to find himself on a plane. The well-dressed people he sees tell him he "woke up too soon" and kill him. Then more people wake up, gagged, in the woods. They discover a crate full of guns and other weapons -- and, before long, they're being shot at and killed. Only Crystal (Betty Gilpin) seems wise enough to stay a jump ahead of her tormenters. Using her wits and some kind of elite training, she fights her way to the end of the puzzle and faces off with its chief architect, Athena. But nothing is quite as it seems.

Is it any good?

Insanely gory but also fiendishly funny, this clever dark satire takes a familiar scenario and uses it to boldly skewer both red and blue Americans, painting both sides as equally absurd. The Hunt is brightly, cheerfully in control of its situation, like a master comedian working the room. It seems to have done what few others could even imagine, which is to correctly parody the attributes of both extremes of American political ideologies without anger or hate. It merely finds everyone preposterous.

Director Craig Zobel, who also questioned the worst of human behavior in Compliance, and co-writers Nick Cuse and Damon Lindelof (of the Watchmen TV series), start The Hunt with a series of shocks. They break all the rules and let us know that anything is possible, that whatever is going to happen will likely happen before we're ready for it. The movie is smooth, fast-moving, and intricately designed. If it has a flaw, it lies in Gilpin's Crystal. She's amazingly cool, resourceful, and appealing in her slow, thoughtful way of speaking. But she tips the balance of the political satire, making it not quite an equal roasting of both sides. However, she's so fascinating -- and mysterious -- that it's easy to forgive.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about The Hunt's violence. How did it affect you? Is it meant to be shocking or thrilling? What's the difference? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • Does the movie equally satirize both sides of the American political spectrum? What does it ultimately say? Does it have anything positive to offer?

  • Is the movie funny? What exactly is "dark humor," and why do we sometimes laugh at things that are otherwise so disturbing?

  • Is Crystal a role model? Is she objectified?

  • Do you think the controversy around the film's original release was warranted? Why or why not?

Movie details

For kids who love action and horror

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