Update: Sunday, August 11:
It looks like the end of the road for The Hunt. Universal Pictures announced yesterday that the studio has decided to cancel its release.”We understand that now is not the right time to release this film,” reads a statement on the movie’s website.
To paraphrase Lin-Manuel Miranda, sometimes it’s impossible to tell the sinners from the saints.
Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why online chatter is growing so starkly around Universal’s forthcoming movie The Hunt, which centers around a group of “deplorables” who are indiscriminately plucked from red states and hunted for sport by a group of elites. Reaction to the premise is being described as a “backlash,” and to be sure, it has elicited no shortage of criticism from apoplectic commentators who deem it to be yet another example of Hollywood’s raging disdain for conservatives.
“This certainly shows Hollywood for what it really is—demented and evil,” Dan Gainor, vice president of the conservative watchdog Media Research Center, told Fox News.
But does it? One glance at the spoiler-laden trailer makes it pretty clear that the kidnapped deplorables are very likely the heroes of the story, while the bloodthirsty liberals are the demented and evil ones, and yet the YouTube comments (the trailer has more than 4 million views at last check) are filled with viewers who have either missed that point or don’t think it matters. President Trump himself ostensibly referred to the movie, although not by name, in a tweet this afternoon in which he decried the “anger and hate” of Hollywood.
To be honest, The Hunt doesn’t look like a very good movie, regardless of who the good guys or bad guys are. It’s apparently a modern play on Richard Connell’s short story “The Most Dangerous Game,” which has been mined for its high-concept premise many times over since it was first published in 1924. The trailer paints it as a rather formulaic lost-in-the-woods thriller, but then trailers can be deceiving.
So maybe the movie is exactly the kind of biting political satire that at least half of America needs to see right now. Which half? Well, that’s for you to judge. You can watch the trailer here (or via the embedded video below) and judge for yourself.