Film Corner: The Hunt

The Hunt

Alright, here's the deal:

- I am still sick.
- My work computer is still sick.
- Kissmate has to work and can't spend the day cuddling me while I whimper because I'm a total baby when I'm sick.

SO YOU'RE GETTING ANOTHER BAD MOVIE WATCH. Today's movie is special because:

a) I've never seen it before.
b) I was hyped to see it when the trailers came out.
c) Then conservatives outrage-cancelled it.
d) Then it was released during the pandemic to critical yawns.
e) I found it in an Amazon clearance bin.

Yes, it's THE HUNT. Which looked like The Purge meets Hunger Games, but a bunch of conservatives threw an outrage fit because they didn't realize that "red state people are hunted by rich people" meant they were the protagonists. Like Katniss is, you know, the protag. (Though it was kinda funny to see conservatives admit they were more likely to be the rich assholes doing the hunting than the impoverished red staters being hunted.)

Unfortunately I've been warned that the movie tries to "both sides" this by having the rich hunters speak fluent liberal (because liberals are notorious for their love guns and hunting??) so the end result was a muddy mess trying to "equal opportunity offend". So now that we have been assured that this will be TERRIBLE, let's do this.

THE HUNT: "A group of elites gather to hunt humans for sport in this subversive satire." That's rarely a good sign, when the theaters feel the need to slap "satire" in the description so people won't yell at them. The disc has 3 "Universal" screens and no previews whatsoever. The chapter select screen is just a flat picture of a pig. They really rushed this one out the door, huh.

The movie opens with a rousing operatic score that makes me think Valkyries are about to ride onto stage, but actually we are just going to watch a group-text of 8 people on a cell phone screen. No really. One of them shares a gif of a turtle trying to fuck a shoe and the group reacts with lol emojis. (No really.) We learn that they are billionaires and philanthropists, and one asks "did anyone see what our ratfucker-in-chief just did?" They agree that Trump is the worst, but one says "At least the Hunt is coming up. Nothing better than going out to The Manor and slaughtering a dozen deplorables."

So with all the subtlety of a brick to the head, the villains are liberals and the hunted protagonists are (presumed) Republicans. I remind you that Republicans got this movie canceled because they don't understand that protagonists tend to face challenges. All this has been by text message, by the way. The phone is being held up for the camera to see. This is laughably bad cinematography, but I almost wonder if this scene was *added* to placate Republicans? I guess we'll see.

A member of the group text scolds that they promised not to talk about The Manor by text while the others tease her. "Liberty" caps-declares she's "DELETING THIS THREAD" but that's not how text messages work, Liberty. Like, here's hoping the secret twist ending is that the billionaires are convicted of murder based on the text history that lives on a server at AT&T or whatever. [Editor's Note: This was like a monkey paw wish because oh god, it's so much worse.]

We cut to a private plane where a pretty flight attendant tries to wait on a rich jackass whose entire personality is bringing up how rich he is with every sentence. (He had caviar last night, etc., is that champagne a rare German vintage, etc.) [Editor's Note: I described this badly but I can't cut the tweet because the champagne is relevant later. Short version: The champagne IS champagne, which by definition makes it very much NOT German, but it was recovered from a German boat wreck.]

The attendant is surprised and confused when a blue collar sort of man ("Randy") stumbles into the cabin. The rich guests scream "one of them woke up early!" A man tries to kill Randy with a ballpoint pen to the neck. This doesn't work, so a woman subdues Randy with a high-heeled shoe to the eye. She pulls out the eyeball and nerve, and it's very gory for shock value. "No sentimentality, comrades," she admonishes the others. Oh god, this is gonna be painful.

So our villains look and act like rich Republican big game hunters, are characterized as Bill Gatesian in money and charities, but talk like Twitter leftists. (And that's not a bash at Twitter leftists.) Could such a chimera EVER exist in real life?? Randy is dragged back to a cabin full of sleeping people ("Fucking redneck.") and I find it most unrealistic that these rich people drag their own prey.

In the woods, one of the sleeping victims wakes with a bit gag in her mouth and the strap is padlocked on. I'm pretty sure she could slip it out with a little push and a tilt of her head, but okay. Another woman, this one in an orange shirt, kneels by a pond with an identical gag in her mouth. She's using the pin from her name tag ("Crystal") to make a leaf-in-water compass. Orange ignores Blue's calls for help (through the bit gag) and stalks off in the direction indicated by her pin. I feel like "go north" isn't the highest priority here, but I guess it's something.

Blue, who looks like a college girl who got nabbed outside her favorite yoga studio, stumbles out of the woods and observes other gagged victims walking around in similar confusion. Everyone so far is white, for the record. Since the elite Richie Riches said "war is war" earlier, and "deplorables" and "rednecks", I'm assuming everyone here was picked *because* they either are or have been profiled as a Trump supporter.

In the middle of the clearing is a huge crate and crowbar. Man 1 tries to open it while Man 2 cautions him that it's probably a trap. I will only be satisfied if a large tiger leaps out at this point. Ah, it's a tiny little Charlotte's Web pig wearing adorable clothes. Not quite what I hoped for. Behind the pig is a huge rollout pegboard of shiny weapons. The weapons include two kukri and a katana, I think, and then a bunch of guns. If they don't use the blades to cut the leather on their silly bit gags, I'm going to shit kittens.

Oh, geez, the keys to the bit gags are just taped to the inside of the crate. That's lazy. Why even put them on?? They weren't gagged on the plane, so it wasn't a security measure. One of the men offers Blue a gun. She says "I can't use this." "Can you do this?" He wiggles his finger. "Yes? Then you can use a gun." Blue's head then instantly explodes from rifle fire, so that happened.

A new girl has arisen to be our next decoy protagonist; she wears Uggs and instantly falls into a pit trap lined with spikes. A rugged man helps her out and even though her chest was impaled by a spike the size of my arm, she's fine. They limp to the forest and step on a mine which instantly blows them to pieces. Kissmate points out that the people who are dying are people who care about other people. Orange--the protagonist on the box--basically survived by ignoring Blue when she asked for help.

A group of survivors get away from the slaughter at the Cornucopia Crate and find a road and a barb-wire fence. "You know what this is, right? Manorgate." There's a "cute" gag where the liberals in charge of this thing have to throw two grenades because they forget to pull the pin on the first one. Haha.

The group of survivors burst into a gas station and demand a phone to call 911. The lead guy, who is from Staten Island so we're gonna have to call him that, babbles angrily at the 911 operator about being kidnapped. The 911 operator acts sketchy ("Of course! Uh. We'll trace the call. That's a great idea.") and hangs up. The gas station owners ask Staten to put his gun up for safety reasons and he says he knows what he's doing because "I own seven guns."

"Why? Why do you own seven guns?" asks the gas station lady because she's secretly one of the straw-liberal villains. "Because it's my constitutional right to protect myself," Staten yells at her. The gas station owners then poison, gas, and shoot the survivors, in that order. "You're going to hell," gasps one of victims. "I don't believe in hell. As you so eloquently posted, I'm a 'godless elite'," snaps the gas station owner. "And for the record, asshole, CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL."

This movie is why conservatives are bad at art, I feel, because none of this is subtle. It's just a repeated brick to the face over and over again. None of this makes any sense, really. Why would this remote manor even *have* a fake gas station trap, and who would volunteer to man it? It's there to fake out the viewer but it makes no sense. Gas Station Wife cleans up the bodies and sorrowfully notes that Staten has a wedding ring on his dead body. "Honey, he's a monster," her husband says. "He probably uses the N word. And not even in private; he probably uses it on Twitter."

I thought this would be a FUN mess, but it's just a conservative-victim-fantasy mess. I feel like I'm watching someone jerk off. Gross. I just want to be clear that this Gas Station Couple is supposed to be BILLIONAIRES who volunteered to dress in plaid, staff a fake deadly gas station trap, and are now mopping the floor up afterwards. Like, I just need to give you a sample of this dialogue because it's garbage.

(TW: Racism)

Woman: (correcting his use of the word "Black") "African Americans. Check your privilege, Julius."
Man: "It's perfectly fine to call them Black again."
Woman: "According to who??"
Man: "NPR."
Woman: "Which is staffed almost entirely by...?"
Man: "...white people. (sighs) We're the fucking worst."

This is like a Twitter Leftist Madlibs that was conceptualized and filled out by conservatives who were writing with one hand. They then bicker about the amount of sugar in soda before prepping for Orange to arrive. Good lord, this is bad. Orange buys a pack of cigarettes and offers them a twenty she keeps in her sock. Then she immediately kills them because, and I quote: "Cigarettes in Arkansas are six bucks. YOU FUCKED UP, BITCH." They gave her too little change and that was how she knew. Jesus.

Orange notes that the cigarette packet is empty (Kissmate: "they won't sell real ones because of pollution, omg") then inexplicably strips down to a cut-off shirt with Barbie-proportions padding in the chest. Examining the car outside, she rips off the Arkansas license to reveal a European one. It's got the 12 golden stars and an HR which Google tells me is Croatia. Why wouldn't you just set this on a private island??? Why scaremonger about Europe?!?

The car is booby-trapped, which Barbie intuits. She takes the gun and radio to go hide in the bushes. We learn that the little pig has been named Orwell by the Liberals. This movie is making me think about how much fun *actual* liberals and leftists could have making a movie poking fun at ourselves. Extremely missed opportunity: They keep calling Barbie "Snowball" when "Snowflake" would've been funnier, but the writers couldn't bear to use their favorite insult on their dream girl protagonist? [Note: Oh, it's an inept Animal Farm reference.]

A bearded man enters the movie to shoot the drone the Liberals are using to scout the area. Barbie reveals her location to him in order to save him from opening the booby-trapped car. I would really like to know what acting direction she was given; her actions are badass but her every line is delivered like she's on the verge of tears. Which is how *I* would feel here, but this would be the literal first nod at realism AND unusual for the genre. She tells Beard that he shouldn't have shot the drone because "now they know where we are", not very future-thinking for a Badass Protagonist, I feel.

Beard and Barbie find some train tracks and start walking. "Every year these liberal elites, you know, the globalist cucks who run the deep state, kidnap normal folks and hunt us for sport." Barbie pulls down her pants and pees in front of him. I will admit that The Hunger Games didn't have a lot of peeing in it, but that was a departure from realism I was willing to accept. Here it just feels like I'm drawing up a collection of kinks on the part of the writers: bit gags, boobs, peeing.

Barbie hears a train and tells Beard to start running so they can hop on. She leaps in easily and pulls Beard in with some effort because he's heavy. They breathe a sigh of relief. The train car is currently occupied by brown people who look very alarmed. Gary screams racist bullshit at them and accuses them of being a setup to force him to learn empathy and rethink his stance on immigration. This is gross but also noteworthy because it is the first time in 35 minutes that one of the "conservatives" has been characterized as shitty. The other 34 minutes was about "liberals" being shitty. A ratio worthy of South Park, that is.

I'm still so tickled that this, THIS, is the movie that conservatives got canceled because they thought it was critical of them. God, the studio must have been SO RELIEVED to be able to bin this and send it straight to clearance-release.

Camo-wearing troops stop the train and order everyone off. They beat the brown people and ignore Barbie and Gary. Gary flags down an officer by saying he's an American and then tells them about his conspiracy theory podcast. One of the refugees that Gary keeps accusing of being "crisis actors" turns out to, yes, be acting: he's one of the Liberals hunting them and his bag is full of grenades....thereby proving Gary is right to have a strong anti-immigration/refugee stance, I guess, because some of them are Liberals with grenades in their bags. I GUESS.

Gary wrestles the Liberal to the ground, stuffs a live grenade in the Liberal's pants, and says "Sayonara, sugar tits" because we needed a Mel Gibson drunken rant reference. Gary then runs off-screen and it's unclear where he goes or why the troops do nothing to stop him. Plot, I guess.

Barbie and the refugee women are taken by the troops to an immigrant camp. She's fast-tracked to the manager on account of being blond. Barbie correctly guesses that she's in Croatia and asks them to call the American Embassy. They ask if she was hunted like one of the other survivors they have in custody. Then they release her into the camp. I guess?

Don, the other survivor, is confused by the pig in the crate ("I thought they was all vegans") but excited about the prospect of going on Hannity after all this. Barbie refuses to be drawn into his speculation. "They're trying to kill me, I don't care why." Barbie has no character, I'm realizing, which is very disappointing to me but probably makes her the ideal conservative protagonist. She has survivalist skills but we don't know where she acquired them. She refuses to make small talk or get to know anyone. She doesn't even really seem to want to "get home". Her driving and only motivation appears to be survival so she can go back to mindin' her own bizness, like the archetypal "good conservative".

The American Embassy Ambassador arrives to take them away in a car with little American flags. Ambassador believes them entirely and wears a suit, so I'm bracing for the obvious double-cross. He asks why they, specifically, were targeted as prey. "I would never blame the victim," he assures them, cementing his obvious evil liberal status. Barbie apparently agrees with me because JUST ON THE BASIS OF THIS ALONE, she kicks him in the head while he's driving. She pushes him out onto the road, then carefully backs up and runs over his head to kill him. A search of his pockets reveals a gun and of the back trunk reveals a now-dead Gary.

"How'd you know he was lying?" gasps Don.
"Because everyone is lying," says Barbie.

My eyes have rolled into the other room and I cannot find them. Send help. Like, the obvious way she knew was because he said he would never "blame a victim" so the only REAL way to tell if someone is on your side is if they blame you for being victimized, in which case they are DEFINITELY not on your side. Martyr fantasy writ large.

Barbie finds a container labeled "bribe money" and a map of the area that looks like something they'd give you at the gate into Disneyland. Barbie tells Don the story of the tortoise and the hare and Don is ENTHRALLED like he's never heard this story before. He is hanging on her every word. This is just amazing acting. This version of the story has an epilogue--and this is something Barbie's mom used to tell her as a bedtime story--where the rabbit comes to the turtle's house after the race and murders Mama Turtle and the Baby Turtles "so the box turtle has to watch them die first. Once the whole family is broken into little pieces, the rabbit sits down and eats their dinner. Every. Last. Bite," Barbie gasps, still trying not to weep with every word. "The rabbit ALWAYS wins."

"Your MAMA told you that story?" Don asks, anticipating my next question but (oddly) not running at full speed away from the blond woman currently gripping a bloody knife that she wrested from Gary's skull mid-story.

Don: "Who is the rabbit? Us or them?"
*Orwell walks out onto the road*
Barbie: "You see a pig with a shirt on, right?"
Don: "Yeah. A little pig."


At an underground duck-blind sort of thing, the Liberals chat. "Oh wow. Ava DuVernay just liked one of my posts!" "You're friends with Ava, too??" Their conversation is a mess; the writers wanted to jam in references to caring about curing AIDS, being pro-choice, and humanitarian crises.

"Guys, we're all on the same team."
"Did you say 'guys'?!?"
"I'm sorry. I gendered it."

What makes this so baffling is it really feels like the writer of this script had never in their life met, like, an actual person. "I'm gonna go take a piss. Who has the hand sanitizer." Watching this movie is like attempting to eat child-safety scissors. They have a massive underground bunker but not a Gatorade bottle to piss in? Anyway, of course this gets him outside so Barbie can cut his throat.

None of the liberals know how to use their guns properly, despite this being their yearly hobby, because they're liberals you see. Barbie drops the pig into a...chute that leads into the underground bunker (don't ask me), and they shoot it dead in a panic. Great movie. "He was an INNOCENT," wails one of the Liberals. Barbie then shoots one or possibly more of them because the choreography is shit. Which is funny because she's clearly trying to do some John Wick moves here but it's just not landing.

Unlike John Wick, she doesn't know how to double-tap, so killing all of them takes longer than is enjoyable. "You hick", gasps a dying liberal. Barbie asks the dying woman "do you think you should be afforded mercy just because you're a girl?" and then shots her when she answers with a scoffing "no".

The radio asks "Don, did you get her?" Barbie pulls a gun and tells him to answer. Don panics and refuses to drop the gun, so Barbie kills him. It's unclear whether he was on their side or if the Liberals tricked Barbie. Barbie is clearly aware of this possibility, but her reasoning seems to be that it's better to be alive and wrong than dead and right.

The consultant hired by the Liberals to teach them guns asks Barbie why she won't just go home instead of going after the Last Liberal. Her explanation is so surreal I don't know how to even summarize it. I *think* she's saying that after this she can't go back to a normal life at her minimum wage car rental job, but I am genuinely not sure. Her explanation involves several facial expressions instead of words, and their meaning is cryptic.

"She's been training for eight months. She's gonna rip you to pieces." Don't they do this EVERY YEAR? Barbie reveals she was in the service in Afghanistan, thanks him for his service, and shoots him. Text on screen: "One Year Earlier". Oh my god. No. NO. We're going to drag this shit out with a FLASHBACK?

Hillary Swank, who I swear must have Satan as an agent because I have never seen her in a GOOD movie, walks into an office in Louboutin-esque shoes painted with a blue inner sole rather than red. (Handily demonstrating WHY Louboutin didn't choose blue instead of red.) Hillary is confronted by two underlings who found her text group from the beginning of the movie. One of the underlings is a Black woman. They scold Hillary for using the word "deplorables" in her text. Oh god. Hillary asks if "gun-clutching homophobes" or "academically-challenged racists" or "tooth-deprived bigots" would be more appropriate. I idly realize they made her stupid shoes blue because it's the Democrat color now. Lord.

Hillary gets ousted from her CEO position for her "tasteless joke" about murdering deplorables. So, oh, okay, she decided the best revenge would be to make this "yearly manorgate" thing real? Jesus, what terrible writing. Gary, the podcaster, etc. They were chosen and not random. Hooboy. The Liberals give the victims a "P-score" for "piece of shit". One of the victims is shared with an image of a dead animal and the presenter belatedly sings out "Trigger warning!" because--again--the writer has no idea what actual liberals sound like.

The presenter warns that they can't select everyone they have an issue with. "Listen, I [too] want to slaughter all of the people who posted about Manorgate, but our military consultant says we gotta cap it out at 12. Is that a kimono? That's appropriation, Richard!" he adds angrily. That is now 65 minutes of inept, pointless attempts to bash liberal ideals. But clearly this flashback was *necessary* so we could understand how Hillary knew to say "SHOOT HER, DON" by name. Otherwise I would've assumed she just checked his driver's license when they nabbed him. So obvs this is a very important flashback to clear that up.

The next slide is a Black man and they all object. "Listen, if we don't have at least ONE person of color in this, it is GOING to be problematic!" the presenter trills angrily at them. The writer for this really does think that liberal ideas are just buzzwords and catchphrases that don't make sense, doesn't he? Because none of these are even used properly. Hillary lights up when she sees Barbie. "I don't need to hear more. That's our Snowball."

Back in the present day, Barbie leaves her gun in the mailbox as instructed (because there's C4 under her feet) and enters the manor where Hillary waits to get her revenge. It's SO OBVIOUS that Barbie's face in the avatar was an innocent employee being flipped off by the person behind the actual account, and that the picture is of his middle finger. This twist is going to be so bad. Hang on, there's not a picture on the internet of this and I want to show you.

This is the profile image they used to pick Barbie. They think that the woman in the profile is supposed to be the poster, rather than the person being flipped off by the poster. That's the upcoming "twist". I almost want to cry at how bad this is, and how apparently this writer was an actual experienced professional who was paid actual money for this thing that was clearly slapped together in a single afternoon while drunk.

Barbie goes up to confront Hillary, who is making tomatoes-and-gruyere grilled cheese sandwiches. I'm genuinely shocked arugula isn't mentioned. She mocks Barbie for being from Mississippi and uneducated then corrects herself that "this country belongs to the uneducated and ignorant as much as it does me." Hillary says what we already know: that she created the manor because her life was ruined by manorgate conspiracy theorists, and honestly this probably would've been better WITHOUT the flashback. Reveals aren't very interesting to listen to the second time.

Barbie lets her get it out, then tells Hillary that she got the wrong person. She offers to let Hillary call her "dead" mom who isn't dead. Hillary declines and Barbie says she doesn't care about the truth. (Because some of ya'll are asking about her name, which is clearly shown in the profile picture: there's another "Crystal" with her name in Mississippi and Barbie says their profiler/researcher mixed the two of them up. The actual social media account name was "Justice4Yall", no real name given.)

I caught up on my mentions because this movie is so bad, and ya'll make some excellent points: @/eggynack points out how weird it is that Barbie needs to be innocent since a message of "Do Not Kill" should be able to stand on its own. My theory is that the film ISN'T about not killing people; it's about how Liberals don't care about the truth and just care about--how did Hillary put it?--"taking anything you want and twisting it around until it fits into your backwards fucking worldview."

@/AlexandraErin points out, too, that the fact that Hillary was able to do all this just shows how toothless "cancel culture" is in the first place: Hillary has more money and power than god and can murder people with impunity. So canceled.

A fight scene happens to Beethoven in which I find myself making a shopping list based on Hillary's kitchen equipment. That little butter grease shield for her grilled cheese sandwich? I need that. Oh, and Hillary gets hurt because she dives to protect the expensive champagne she bought. Then she grabs a gun while Barbie yells "CHEATING". Kissmate, on the other hand, is certain this scene was used during a True Blood episode. I mention this to underscore just how not-interesting the fight is.

Regarding the "German champagne" earlier, I summarized the conversation badly. It was something about champagne recovered from a German boat and was, I think, a garbled reference to this. Amusingly, I forgot that champagne isn't champagne unless it comes from France, so I will be handing in my Liberal Elite card now, sad trombone.

Hillary stabs Barbie three times with various kitchen implements but makes the exceedingly common mistake of leaving the blender blade in her victim so that Barbie can hug her to death. As they bleed out on the kitchen floor, Barbie asks about the Snowball reference. It's from Animal Farm, Hillary says. "He's a pig." This movie is about proving that Liberals are wrong about conservatives, so OF COURSE Barbie is more familiar with Animal Farm than I, an English major who has read the book at least a dozen times. Well, good for her.

"But Snowball is an idealist," Barbie objects. "He wants to make the world a better place. That's why the other pigs make up lies about him, turn him into the enemy. Shouldn't YOU be Snowball?" Hillary doesn't answer her because it is a legitimate plothole that the writer couldn't bear to cut because he can't kill his darlings, instead just indicating surprise that Barbie read Animal Farm. She asks Barbie if she is Justice4Yall and Barbie tells her again, now that they're both dying, that NO FOR REALS she got the wrong person. Hillary says, and I quote: "Whoops" and then dies.

By the open door, Barbie sees a rabbit. Because god knows THAT scene was important enough to call back to. She stands up, shakes off her MULTIPLE stab wounds, and eats the grilled cheese sandwich. Then she puts on Hillary's best dress and blue Christian Louboutins, grabs the expensive underwater champagne, and walks the "rich person's dog breed" dog out past the pool to Hillary's private jet.

The flight attendant and pilot have no issue with taking her back home. Barbie is served champagne and caviar, which she shares with the flight attendant. Barbie declares the underwater champagne "fucking great" and I am mercifully freed from this movie, starring villains which cannot exist and a protagonist that has no personality.

@edgar_a_bitch. She just ... eats a sandwich. Despite bleeding out from being stabbed with kitchen implements. Sure because nausea isn't a symptom of intense pain and wound trauma or anything

[TW: Gore] After the sandwich, she uses a creme brulee torch to cauterize the massive wound in her stomach!

I let the credits play because I was lying on the floor longing for death, and the "Making of!" features auto-played after the end. "The Hunt is an AMAZING story about how WRONG first impressions can really be-" and I turned it off.

If you've enjoyed this thread, please consider subscribing to my Patreon because wow that one was a beating, lol. I do want to add that Kissmate came out on his lunchbreak and said "I've been reading your livetweet, this sounds AMAZING, can we watch it tonight together?" then he watched 10 whole minutes and announced he could not take anymore. I mention this JUST IN CASE my thread accidentally made any of this sound fun in a Mystery Science Theater / RiffTraxy way.

No, wait, I'm sorry. "FIRST IMPRESSIONS"?!?!?!!? They hired a fucking research guy to tell them her middle name, parents' names, job history, and entire social media backstory! And, by the logic of the movie, they were only wrong because they got the wrong Crystal!! HIRING A RESEARCH GUY TO BUILD A DOSSIER ON YOUR ENTIRE LIFE IS THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF A "FIRST IMPRESSION".

...I'll stop now, I'm so sorry.


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