If something was too much for 2019, then I'd argue coronavirus-having, election-app-crashing 2020 isn't any better, but Universal is pushing forward with plans to finally release their controversial movie The Hunt. The violent horror satire film was slated for a September 2019 premiere, but multiple mass shootings in Texas, California, and Ohio prompted them to pull it from the lineup. According to The Hollywood Reporter, though, the Hilary Swank and Betty Gilpin vehicle is now expected to land March 13, and a new trailer is embracing all the controversy head-on.
The Hunt is about a group of liberal "elites" who kidnap a handful of people known as "deplorables" who have posted conservative viewpoints online. The deplorables are released into the wild and hunted for sport, resulting in a series of increasingly twisted and gory deaths. The violence combined with the politically charged nature of the film, even if satire, was too much for the 2019 climate. Now, that's basically its selling point.
"The most talked about movie of the year is one nobody's seen yet," an introduction to the trailer reads.
Swank plays one of the "elites" who insists the whole premise isn't actually real — they would never hunt humans! Cut to an exploding grenade. Gilpin plays one of the captured "deplorables" alongside others like Emma Roberts and Ike Barinholtz. The group is armed with guns to defend themselves, but it's not enough to prevent the total chaos that this Hunger Games-style exercise provokes. It's even more creepy when you see just how calm and level-headed the "elites" are about the whole thing. The plot is an exercise in prejudice, gaslighting, and gore, but despite the uncomfortable rhetoric, producer Jason Blum and screenwriter Damon Lindelof say we shouldn't take it seriously.
“No one who has seen the movie has described the movie as provocative,” Lindelof explained to THR, likening the tone to Jordan Peele's Get Out.
“The audience is smart enough to know that what they’re seeing is a satire and it’s preposterous," Blum added.
Watch the new trailer and decide for yourself below.