Does anyone remember this motion picture debacle that wound up being yanked before it was released? The Hunt looked like it was going to be permanently shelved last year. Here’s the trailer for those who may not recall this story.
Well, some movies can’t be kept in the can forever, it seems. Universal Pictures has announced that they’re going to release the film after all. It’s set to debut next month. (Associated Press)
Universal Pictures said Tuesday that it will release the social satire “The Hunt,” a film it canceled in the wake of criticism about its premise of “elites” hunting people for sport in red states.
A trailer announcing the film’s March 13 release date presents the “elites” hunting regular people as a conspiracy theory. Star Hilary Swank says at one point that “it wasn’t real” amid images of shootings, explosions and other violence.
The trailer includes the line, “The most talked about movie of the year is one nobody’s seen yet.”
The New York Times calls The Hunt a satire about elites killing deplorables. And while I’m sure the folks at the Gray Lady wouldn’t be too put off by a film where liberals shoot conservative rednecks for sport, the initial press tour for the film quickly led to Universal pulling the plug on the project.
That came about for two primary reasons. First, it’s a movie about shooting human beings and its original release came on the heels of several mass shootings in the United States. That was widely decried as a tasteless attempt at shock marketing.
Second was the political overtones of the film, coming in the middle of some chaotic politics here in America. Conservatives lambasted the film and even President Trump weighed in, calling it “inflammatory.”
So how did they fix their little public relations problem? Instead of labeling the film as an entry in the horror genre, they’ve decided to call it a satire with elements of both comedy and horror. That’s it. That’s all they did. The director is assuring everyone that it’s the exact same film and not a frame has been changed.
Frankly, I’ve never seen what the big deal was. Hollywood produces far more tasteless stuff than this all the time. As far as the violence goes, the body count in most recent mob movies and even some of the superhero action films is higher than what we’re told to expect here. That doesn’t mean they’re going to be getting my money for a ticket, but this hardly seems any more tasteless than half the garbage that Hollywood pumps out anymore. If people want to see it and the filmmakers can turn a profit off it, well… welcome to the party, pal. (Speaking of movies with high body counts.)
Exit question: If the premise of this movie had been a bunch of people in MAGA hats shooting a group of New York Times reporters and MSNBC anchors, do you think that everyone would have been so quick to forgive and forget? Somehow I doubt it.