The formula is clear for films where the main characters are stalked by outside foes.
It could be women bonding during a camping trip (“Black Rock”), or a couple attacked by mysterious mountain men (2016’s “Blue Jay“).
The heroes are the people in the cross hairs. Plain and simple. So what happens when the stalkers are progressives and the victims want to Make America Great Again?
“The Hunt,” originally slated for a Sept. 27, 2019 release, pits liberal elites vs. MAGA types, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Sounds like every day on social media, right? It’s not so simple.
What if the progressives were armed to the teeth and willing to take out the Trump fans by any means necessary? THR shares more about the film’s content:
“Did anyone see what our ratf***er-in-chief just did?” one character asks early in the screenplay for The Hunt, a Universal Pictures thriller set to open Sept. 27. Another responds: “At least The Hunt’s coming up. Nothing better than going out to the Manor and slaughtering a dozen deplorables.”
Note: Twice failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton famously dubbed Trump fans “Deplorables” during the 2016 campaign.
The violent, R-rated film from producer Jason Blum’s Blumhouse follows a dozen MAGA types who wake up in a clearing and realize they are being stalked for sport by elite liberals.
THR confirms the film’s ideological nature, which goes back to the project’s initial title: “Red State Vs. Blue State”
Here’s the film’s trailer:
The trailer completely avoids any political intent. The following clip, made available to the press, similarly suggests an update on the classic story “The Most Dangerous Game.”
The initial batch of press notes also avoids any ideological themes beyond fury at the “elites”:
Twelve strangers wake up in a clearing. They don’t know where they are, or how they got there. They don’t know they’ve been chosen… for a very specific purpose … The Hunt.
In the shadow of a dark internet conspiracy theory, a bunch of elites gathers for the very first time at a remote Manor House to hunt humans for sport. But the elites’ master plan is about to be derailed because one of the hunted, Crystal (Betty Gilpin, GLOW), knows The Hunters’ game better than they do. She turns the tables on the killers, picking them off, one by one, as she makes her way toward the mysterious woman (two-time Oscar® winner Hilary Swank) at the center of it all.
The ideological dodge isn’t surprising. The studio likely wants to lure both red and blue state dwellers to theaters. It’s a similar strategy used to promote “Suburbicon,” the 2017 George Clooney dud. That ad campaign completely left out the film’s overt liberal bent.
“The Hunt” is making headlines because the studio behind it, Universal, is skittish about placing ads for the film so close to several mass shootings.
That’s Hollywood hypocrisy at its most basic. The industry has no qualms delivering movies chockablock with gun violence, but airing commercials for those films is suddenly inappropriate.
The bigger questions remain unsolved.
- Can a mainstream movie really show the two sides of our ongoing political war trying to kill each other at this contentious point in American history?
- Will the social media mob cancel the movie before its release date?
- Is it responsible for a major film studio to depict the red/blue divide in such a bloody fashion?
- Finally, why would an avowed Trump hater like Blum make movie where we feel sympathy for MAGA nation? (that’s assuming the film follows the aforementioned stalker movie blueprint)
The latter question is the biggest mystery. Blum’s rage against Trump is well documented. His “Purge” franchise slams the GOP, Trump and American Christians. His production company created “The Loudest Voice,” the Showtime miniseries attacking both Fox News and its ties to Trump.
Could Team Blum create a thriller where we’re supposed to root for The Deplorables? Or, is there a twist in the third act that will appease Blum’s ideological base?