Blumhouse Productions since its inception in 2000 have developed a reputation for producing hit horror-thriller movies and making outrageous sums in revenue, thanks to the level of creativity offered by its directors. Over the years, the film company has been credited with the production of several popular movies such as Insidious, Paranormal Activity, The Purge, Get Out, Sinister and most recently, The Hunt.
At this point, it really is no news that the much anticipated satirical thriller movie, The Hunt has been shelved by Universal Studios for reasons that have been receiving mixed reactions since its announcement on August 10, 2019, following mass shootings in Dayton Ohio and El Paso Texas. Nevertheless let’s examine the plot, controversies and several facts about The Hunt to help us make an informed judgment on if shelving was ideal or nay?
The Hunt – Plot
A good thriller is often characterized by an intense storyline aimed at giving viewers a heightened sense of fear, anticipation, shock, surprise, and anxiety. That being said, The Hunt trailer paints a narrative of violence as people get shot at in quick succession. Nevertheless, there is more to the film than ruthless killings. The story is based on the activities of a wealthy set of American liberals (referred to as “the Elites”) who as a result of their wealth, prominence and influence in deciding who gets what in a very successful capitalist economy, engage in the kidnapping and eventual killing of less fortunate citizens (tagged as “Deplorables”) for sports.
The movie which features famous Hollywood actors and actresses such as two time Golden Globes winner Hilary Swank, Emma Roberts, Betty Gilpin, Ike Barinholtz and Justin Hartley, among several others, begins with the awakening of 12 individuals in the woods; totally oblivious of where they are, how they got there, when they got there or their purpose for being there. Eventually, they come to terms with the fact that they have been selected for a mission – The Hunt.
The killing of the deplorables for fun intensifies, with the death of a new victim bringing more thrill than the last, until the elites pick on a certain deplorable who counters their attack, leading to a change in the ordinary course of things “as the hunters become the hunted”.
Controversies Around The Hunt
The aftermath of the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio which claimed the lives of 10 and 24 people respectively, leaving several others severely injured, can be said to be the final straw that led to the cancellation of The Hunt due to its strong political theme and the possibility of it inciting violence in a country where the conservatives and liberals are at constant loggerheads. However, it’s important to note that prior to the mass shootings, the fate of the movie was already hanging by a very thin thread.
At the event of its cancellation it was revealed that the movie didn’t go down well with selected audience during its test screening, as they were displeased with its strong political elements and the constant use of the term “deplorable” – a word used by Hilary Clinton in 2016, to describe Donald Trump supporters as racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic and Islamaphobic. The step taken by Universal to exclude huge political elements from the trailer was also seen in a negative light.
There is also the Donald Trump factor: On August 9, 2019, the President of the United States posted a tweet in which he referred to Liberal Hollywood as the conjurer of hate, racism, chaos, and violence. Although he didn’t explicitly mention The Hunt, it’s clear enough to know which movie he was referring to.
Facts About The Hunt
Here are 5 facts to keep to mind about The Hunt
- The movie was directed by American filmmaker Craig Zobel who is credited for having directed Compliance and Great World of Sound.
- Principal photography of the movie was shot in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA.
- The Hunt was created on a budget of $18.2 million.
- Initially, the movie was titled Red State Vs Blue State but was later changed to The Hunt as it was more subtle.
- Despite its cancellation, Blumhouse CEO Jason Blum still has hopes that the movie will be released in the nearest future, despite all the present controversies.