Books & Culture

Hollywood Satirizes Itself with ‘The Hunt’


- August 9th, 2019
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The Hunt” is billed as a satire wherein rich liberal elitists have created their own game ranch for hunting “deplorables,” i.e. Trump supporters. It is a time-worn premise based upon Richard Connell’s 1924 short story, “The Most Dangerous Game,” which also led to a 1932 movie of the same title. (Horrifically, there was also a real-life instance of such barbaric cruelty by the Alaskan serial killer Robert Hansen.)

Now, before you waste your breath carping about how progressives would feel about a movie depicting rich Trump supporters hunting progressives, remind yourself that Hollywood would call that a documentary. Besides, Hollywood would never, ever, permit an avowedly conservative film to be made—period, end of story. 

The good news, however, is that no conservative would be deranged enough to script such tawdry drivel, let alone ask for millions of dollars to spew such vile, divisive dreck for Americans’ collective consumption.

“The Hunt” is yet to be released, and its initial ad blitz has been paused in light of the recent mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. In Brian Flood’s Fox News report, a Universal Pictures flack said: “Out of sensitivity to the attention on the country’s recent shooting tragedies, Universal Pictures and the filmmakers of ‘The Hunt’ have temporarily paused its marketing campaign and are reviewing materials as we move forward.”

Hollywood holds that such controversy regarding a pending motion picture is good for business. And, while there may be some half-hearted internal debate as to the way forward at Universal Studios, which greenlit the flick, as the flack makes clear, in lefty la-la land the show will go on because there’s money to be made. 

Or at least recouped. Per The Hollywood Reporter’s Kim Masters and Tatiana Siegel:

“The Hunt” made some executives at Universal skittish back in May 2018, when film chief Donna Langley acquired the script and fast-tracked it at a modest $18 million budget. It is unclear whether there were any other bidders on the property, the sale of which was brokered by CAA, but insiders at several studios told THR at the time that they did not pursue it because of the explosive premise. One executive says he didn’t even read the script, noting, “The idea seemed crazy.”

While it is nice to know one ostensibly sane person still works for a Hollywood studio, his opinion held no sway, which is good news for “The Hunt’s” producer Jason Blum and his company, Blumhouse; filmmaker Craig Zobel; script from Damon Lindelof and Nick Cuse; and stars Betty Gilpin, Hilary Swank, and a host of others . . .  

Including you.

“How so,” you ask? Didn’t Brian Flood quote Media Research Center vice president Dan Gainor as saying, “this certainly shows Hollywood for what it really is—demented and evil.” Didn’t Flood also gets a similar review from political satirist Tim Young: “‘The Hunt’ is sick and shows just how hateful the left has become.” And didn’t Flood note how DePauw University professor and media critic Jeffrey McCall believes the film “says something sad about the state of the ‘entertainment’ industry that this movie ever got conceived and produced. Hollywood clearly thinks it is OK to stereotype so-called deplorables and set them up for a hunt.”

Hollywood does, indeed, which makes “The Hunt” Hollywood’s unwitting satire of itself.

Let us start with the premise. In Connell’s short story, the big game hunter became the hunted. In the R-rated “The Hunt,” the filmmakers are using the same ironic device: the gun-toting, bigoted, bloodthirsty deplorables are getting a dose of their own lethal medicine. This conflates two of the Left’s favorite delusions: their prejudiced imagining of Trump supporters—indeed, all non-leftists; and their false claim that most, if not all, political violence is perpetrated by said Trump supporters. Thus does this exercise in cinematic exploitation provide valuable insight into the Hollywood progressives’ patent paranoia and bigoted ignorance of half their fellow Americans.

This premise also once more proves the aphorism that the Left accuses its opponents of what the Left is doing. The film’s original title, which was changed in slightly less time than a New York Times headline, was “Red State vs. Blue State.” Yes, while conservatives are being kidnapped and hunted for homicidal thrills by rich progressives, by listing them first the original title subtly implies the red state is the aggressor, which is doubtless how the film’s creators view the present political situation.

Beyond the premise, enough of “The Hunt” has seeped into the public realm that one need not be a movie star’s life coach to glean other insights into Hollywood’s head. The Hollywood Reporter highlighted this witty banter between two progressive murderers (a.k.a., “hunters”):

Progressive Hunter No. 1: “Did anyone see what our ratfucker-in-chief just did?”

Progressive Hunter No. 2: “At least The Hunt’s coming up. Nothing better than going out to the Manor and slaughtering a dozen deplorables.”

Hollywood’s message to its fellow progressives is that they will survive and thrive after they end the Era of Trump. 

And, as the last two-plus years have proven, the Left feels entitled to end the Trump era by any means necessary because Orange Man Bad. Chillingly, a progressive character “justifies” their killing spree of deplorables with an au courant leftist canard: “We pay for everything, so this country belongs to us.” As a fiscal (and moral) matter, this argument is intellectually bankrupt. This claim is indicative of how the Left rationalizes its entitlement to behave badly, including violently; and it is no surprise coming from Hollywood’s rife with riches progressives who are oblivious as to how the rest of the country actually lives, works, produces, and is taxed.

For those of us in the rest of the country, here’s a snippet of the operative logic Hollywood and other progressives would use to “fundamentally” transform America post-Trump. 

The murderous progressives, notes The Hollywood Reporter, “picked their targets because they expressed anti-choice positions or used the N-word on Twitter. ‘War is war,’ says one character after shoving a stiletto heel through the eye of a denim-clad hillbilly.”

That’s right: “The Hunt” claims it is equally vile to be pro-life as it is to be racist. Anyone who’s defended the unborn and the sanctity of life—really, every person not aligned with the Left’s civil religion—should prepare to be doxxed, drawn, and quartered in the public square—in other words, hunted and silenced.

Long before then—September 27, to be precise—“The Hunt” arrives in theaters. Though again, per THR, some in Hollywood believe “in light of the horrific [recent shootings], is this not the most craven, irresponsible, dangerous exploitation?” To the big shots at Universal, this translates into box office gold: “[‘The Hunt’] is meant to show what a stupid, crazy world we live in. It might even be more powerful now.”

Ah, the true bottom line of Hollywood’s progressives, who decry mass violence while pimping celluloid carnage. But how enriching for Universal and its filmmakers to release this half-baked progressive phantasmagoria of butchering deplorables? As THR muses, all of the controversy’s free publicity and the expected glowing reviews by progressive critics and “woke” theatergoers might not ensure a box office boon:

The satire “Assassination Nation,” which also pitted the woke versus the unwoke in uber-violent fashion, represented the top sale at Sundance 2018 at $10 million. But the film fizzled upon its release later that year, earning just $2 million with no international rollout. Says one person involved with that film, “We thought people would get the joke.”

Hollywood still doesn’t get the joke is on them.

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Photo credit: Blumhouse Productions/Universal Pictures

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