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Controversial Film “The Hunt” by Jason Blum Slated to Release in March

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

Last September, Blumhouse, the production company that created horror movies like Paranormal Activity and The Purge, started releasing teaser trailers for a new horror film. Before the movie even got close to its intended release date, critics and civilians alike took to the internet to express their utter distaste and, no pun intended, horror, at the upcoming movie’s plot. Soon after receiving an onslaught of negative press, Blumhouse pulled the movie from its upcoming roster and all further teasers and trailers were canceled by Universal Studios. 

However, like many other controversial topics discussed in mainstream media, the movie has been resurfaced and is slated to be re-released this coming March. Described as a “satirical social thriller”, the film stars Hilary Swank and Emma Roberts. The movie’s plot follows a group of twelve strangers who mysteriously wake up in a clearing. They don’t know exactly where they are or how they got there, but they quickly find out they’re being hunted. Who are they being hunted by exactly? A group of savage elitists who like to hunt people for sport under the guise of a shadowy internet conspiracy theory. When Crystal, one of the people being hunted, turns the tables on her opponents, the game gets a bit more complicated.

So why did so much controversy surround this film’s release? Well, the truth of the seemingly simple plot is that it’s full of social and political commentary. When the public realized the truth of what the film was suggesting, right-wing media outcry swarmed the film’s release. Early in the trailer, it seems that political lines are drawn between the hunters and the hunted. The hunters are described as “liberal elites”, too rich for their own good and pawning for a sickening thrill. The hunted, on the other hand, are described as “regular people”, coming from small towns and subscribing to an all-American way of life.

However, it seems that the trailer leaves a setup for some sort of twist or “big reveal” toward the end of the film. In the teaser, we overhear Hilary Swank’s character say “It wasn’t real”, and later “We were joking!” The idea of class and tensions between political parties is certainly played with throughout this film, and it will take a full viewing to understand the message that director Craig Zobel is trying to send.

Jason Blum of Blumhouse productions isn’t bothered by the controversy. Rather, he’s quite elated that the controversial nature of the film is getting more people to talk about it. The film’s release originally drew the anger of President Donald Trump, who stated that “the movie coming out is made in order to inflame and cause chaos.”

The film very well might be the most controversial film of 2020, but Blumhouse has created the promotion surrounding the film controversial as well. On the movie’s poster, a big head is surrounded by the negative press that the move received surrounding its initial teaser trailers, phrases such as “a disturbance to our country”. The original date of the movie’s release is scrawled out, boasting the updated release date of March 13. To see the updated poster, click here. Whether or not you like the premise of this film, it’s certainly a movie that everyone will be talking about.

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I'm a senior at Florida State University studying Editing, Writing, and Media with a minor in Film Studies and Computer Science. I'm passionate about music, movies, and media!
Her Campus at Florida State University.