Hunting Season On Films?
Today’s entertainment news concerns the Blumhouse arm of Universal and their film ‘The Hunt’, in which 12 red-state American strangers wake up in a clearing and realise they’re being hunted by liberals.
The hunted are gun-toting NRA types who find themselves being chased for sport. It’s the latest reworking of ‘The Most Dangerous Game’, a film trope that has been around since the 1924, when it began as a short story called ‘The Hounds of Zaroff’. Back then, big-game safaris in Africa and South American were particularly fashionable among wealthy Americans. The story was adapted many times, and now has a political slant.
This time, though, it has been pulled from screens after the makers bowed to censorship pressure from Mr Trump, who attacked it in a series of Tweets. Are we now moving back into an era of McCarthyism or is this a one-off? The movie looks trashy and ultra-violent, but was supposedly pulled because of its anti-Republicanism, and after another round of gun rampages it looked to be shaky on the grounds of being in poor taste.
This is to assume a connection between screen entertainment and real life – always a dubious call, especially in the UK where long memories will recall the ‘video nasties’ panic and attempts to suggest that the Jamie Bulger killing was inspired by a horror film, a claim used by a pernicious tabloid, the Daily Mail, as a political football. Typically for the scandal rag, it proved to be fake news of the most venal kind.
In the UK a TV screening of ‘The Poseidon Adventure’ was pulled because it was due to be shown the week after the Marchioness disaster. Now that there are hundreds of channels, policing them for offences to good taste is harder than ever, and trying to find a cause-and-effect connection between fantasy and reality will only embroil you in an insoluble academic argument.