The Hunt was deemed too controversial for release. Now you can watch it this weekend.

More than six months after it was originally scheduled for release, audiences will finally get to watch controversial film The Hunt.

The Hunt was slated for release in September 2019, but then came deadly mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas in early August, which together killed 32 people.

Afterwards, The Hollywood Reporter reported Universal Pictures had pulled ads for the movie as a result.

Watch the trailer for The Hunt. Post continues below video.

The article, which described the film based on a copy of the script, disclosed that the movie was about elites stalking “deplorables”(in reference to Hillary Clinton calling half of her then-Presidential opponent Donald Trump’s supporters a ‘basket of deplorables’ in 2016).

So naturally, an outcry followed. Pundits, without anyone having seen the film yet, concluded it was about a conservative ‘purge’, where Hollywood elites hunt Trump supporters.

Trump – unsurprisingly – tweeted his distaste claiming the film was made to “inflame and cause chaos”.


“Hollywood, I don’t call them the elites. I think the elites are the people they go after in many cases. But Hollywood is really terrible,” Trump reiterated to reporters later days later.

“What they’re doing, with the kind of movie they’re putting out, it’s actually very dangerous for our country. What Hollywood is doing is a tremendous disservice to our country.”

Stuck in a controversy storm, and out of respect for the families of those killed in the shootings, Universal cancelled the film’s release.

For months, The Hunt – starring Betty Gilpin (who you’d recognise from Netflix’s Glow), Ike Barinholtz, Amy Madigan, Emma Roberts, Ethan Suplee, and Oscar winner Hilary Swank – went unseen.

Gilpin’s character is among 11 strangers who wake up in a clearing, gagged and with no idea of how they got there. They figure out they’re victims in an elaborate conspiracy in which the rich kill the not-so-rich for sport.

But it wouldn’t be a movie if they didn’t fight back, thus creating a satirical Left vs Right war.


the hunt
Image: Universal Pictures.

The Hunt was finally released to US theatres in March, before theatres shut.

It was scheduled to be released in Australia this month, but of course the COVID-19 pandemic stopped that possibility.

Instead of waiting it out, distribution company Universal Pictures decided to skip theatre release altogether and release The Hunt straight to home entertainment.

So, from tomorrow, you can watch the controversial movie on digital platforms including iTunes, Google Play and Foxtel for $19.95.


Is it really as controversial as it was touted as?

Well, probably not, at least according to the people who made it.

Image: Universal Pictures.

Writer and producer Damon Lindelof told The New York Times he never expected the movie to gain such a reputation, especially not before anyone had actually seen it.

"I wish that [Trump] had seen it. The movie he was talking about was not the movie I feel that we made," he said.

"As anyone who has seen the movie can attest, it’s all so over the top and absurd.

"It's possible that people will see this movie and say it’s irresponsible or is a call to violence. But the morality of the movie has always felt very clean to us."

It does sound ridiculous though.

The New York Times reported one of the 'liberal elites' shouts "For the record, climate change is real!" before killing one victim.

The Hollywood Reporter article states the script is full of stereotypes: The 'deplorables' wear trucker hats and cowboy shirts, with one bragging about owning seven guns because it's his constitutional right. The 'elites' explain that they picked their targets because they expressed anti-choice positions or used the N-word on Twitter.

After its new release was scheduled, The Hunt marketed itself as 'the most talked about movie of the year is one that no one's actually seen'.

This weekend, you can finally see it.

The Hunt will be available for rent from iTunes, Google Play, Fetch, Foxtel and PlayStation Store from Friday, April 10 2020.