Playing out like a real-life YouTube comments section, this satirical thriller is a fun watch. But its overarching plot is under-developed and the characters are rough around the edges.
The premise of this film grabs your attention – a group of people wake up in a clearing with no idea how they got there, and they’re being hunted by rich people. We’ve seen these kinds of movies before, my favourite being Japanese cult-classic Battle Royale. This time, the spin is a very modern one: the hunt is a conspiracy theory turned real. Thousands of (ostensibly right-wing) Americans had earlier waged verbal war online against the ‘elites’ in society, claiming that they hunt poor people for sport on a manor in Vermont.
The show’s woke gimmick leads to some pretty funny moments. We see one of the hunted become irate about a presumptive group of ‘illegals’. A pair of hunters start questioning some prey on the right to bear arms, before unloading a double-barrelled shotgun on him. Moments earlier, he had boasted of the seven guns he has back home in New York.
Like most movies of this kind, it gets pretty violent and some of the on-screen deaths can be shocking. But it strikes the right tone at all times. Unlike The Platform, the gore isn’t meant to be dark, and you’re never concerned by it. More just impressed by the makeup FX team and the way the deaths play out.
That also means the movie doesn’t have that must see factor. The overarching plot, whilst interesting and highly topical, is not really handled well. The ‘elites’ all seem like pretty unrealistic characters. Only one of them (Athena) is developed in any detail, and the rest… don’t really make much sense.
If you want to see some fun violence and poke fun at both sides of the American political divide, you won’t be disappointed and at only 1.5 hours long, your time won’t be badly spent. Just don’t expect anything outstanding.