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.

8 comments on “Hunting Season On Films?”

  1. SteveB says:

    There’d be no point producing films or writing books if they didn’t have -some- impact on the viewer/ reader.

    This particular film doesn’t look to me like it’s any loss.

  2. Roger says:

    “12 red-state American strangers wake up in a clearing and realise they’re being hunted by liberals”
    Have you got that quite right, or am I missing irony? Or is it a typo and they realise they’re being hugged by liberals?

    The connection between screen entertainment and real life – if there is one – is complicated, but the support for leaving the EU, based on the repeated lies of Boris Johnson, among other things, suggests that there is a connection between what people are presented with as obvious “truths” in the course of their entertainment and the way they behave.

  3. snowy says:

    Nobody seems to quite know exactly what the plot/story is.

    Which may be a very clever marketing campaign, for what may eventually prove to be a rather ho-hum ‘Purge’ side project. [Derailed by the recent very sad real world events.]

  4. admin says:

    The film is billed as a satire, but given Blumhouse’s history I’d say it’s an attempt to extend The Purge’s franchise – in other words a B-movie.
    The point for me is not the quality of the film – in the Bulger case it was Child’s Play – but the idea of a studio pulling the product from screens in accordance with political wishes. Although it may just have been pulled for fear of a backlash after recent massacres.

  5. Liz Thompson says:

    Politically inspired censorship has a long history, not just films, but newspapers and books. Religion regularly censored stuff too. None of it is ever successful in the long term, thank god, but it does sometimes create interest in essentially worthless or dubious items, and increase their influence and sale. Censors please note.

  6. snowy says:

    The studio dropped the ad campaign 48 hours after the shootings. The First Baby wouldn’t emit what was a rather vague tweet about a film he was unable to name, for a further 2 days, [after the US Conservative media started creating a fuss about the contents of a teaser trailer.]

    If we are in ‘exploitation’ territory, then the plot probably isn’t up to much:

    [‘Idle Rich’ decide to ‘Kill the Poor’ for sport, but they fight back – ‘Worm Turn’ seasoned perhaps with a little ‘Eat the Rich’, this turns into a two-sided ‘And Then There Were None’ until it gets down to the ‘Final Girl’ upto the ‘Final Confrontation’ with the ‘Big Evil’ and then it’s 50/50 who wins depending on if they fancy a sequel.]

    The only mystery is why it wasn’t planned for release at the end of October.

  7. SteveB says:

    Just looking at imdb it’s got a better pedigree than i expected
    Snowy’s summary I am sure is pretty much on the mark

  8. Ian Luck says:

    Snowy – I love your use of the term ‘The First Baby’ in referring to President Trousercough. ‘Trump’ being an English term for an expulsion of foul wind from the fundament. Suits the scrot-headed bully in the Whitehouse to a tee.

Comments are closed.