16 March 2020

From One Extreme To The Other

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Author and columnist A.A. Gill once claimed that he'd shot a baboon to death because he wanted to know what it'd be like to kill an actual human being. That seems reasonable. We all try things out on an animal before going all the way with a human, don't we? By that logic, I presume Gill also tried to fuck a baboon before losing his virginity to an actual human too. Perhaps if Gill had really wanted to kill a person then instead of murdering an innocent baboon he should have just put the gun in his own mouth and blown his piece of shit brains all over the fucking walls instead. Blumhouse Productions' new movie The Hunt features a new riff on the 1924 Richard Connell story The Most Dangerous Game in which a group of sociopaths decide to kidnap and hunt down a gang of what they consider to be society's “deplorables”. Except due to a super-clever twist, it would be Gill on the run here as this new film features a group of liberal elites deciding to hunt down a group of right-wing shitheads instead. How subversive is that? My God. The left-wing lunatics are the ones going after the pro-gun right? That's such a special idea. I can only presume the writers of The Hunt typed this script by slapping their dicks back down onto the keyboard after spaffing off over their own unprecedented level of genius. 
Although perhaps I'm wrong in suggesting that Gill would be the one being hunted in this movie, as in fact, the sides seem to be dictated by wealth as much as political leanings. The tooled-up left-wingers all seem pretty rich whereas the right-wingers being hunted appear to be a lot less privileged. So is the real point that wealth or class dictate how much we can get away within society? What an astute observation. There was a woman in the UK who once sent the entire country into a collective frenzy after CCTV caught her putting a cat into a fucking bin. If only that woman had been a member of the super-rich then she could have just 'done a Gill' and written an article about how she'd been motivated by a life-long desire to put a human in a bin. Who wouldn't relate to that? I've always wanted to watch a human shit into a small tray in the corner of my kitchen and so, of course, I'm going to start by making a cat do it first. I reckon that mad bitch would have been proper fucking livid after having had the entire population come after her for putting just one cat into a bin only to read in the paper, “they die hard, baboons. But not this one. A soft-nosed .357 blew his lungs out”. But that can't be The Hunts actual point, can it? That society is more lenient to those with an economic advantage? Because if a sixth-former wrote something as smug as this movie and that was there only point then I doubt they'd be surprised to find their essay thrown into the bin like a fucking cat.

The Hunt is meant to be a comedy but its jokes predominantly derive from a seemingly unironic portrayal of its characters as stereotypes. You could turn it into a drinking game. Drink once every time you hear the word 'red-neck' and twice every time you hear the word 'deplorable'. The film is relatively short but I guarantee that if you can't hold your liquor then you'll be spewing up the fucking walls before half-time. It's two drinks for the word 'deplorable' because that's when The Hunt is subtly invoking a phrase once used by Hilary Clinton and I'd like you to be as intoxicated from your alcohol as the filmmakers are from their own feelings of self-satisfaction. If you want to see an interesting horror comedy that deals with the serotype of red-necks then I'd recommend Tucker And Dale Vs Evil which swaps this films intolerable sense of conceitedness for one of warmth, wit, and actual imaginative horror. Although in reality there are a hundred better films that deal with this kind of set-up from Battle Royale to Blumhouse's own The Purge. The Hunt though is ninety minutes of liberals being uppity psychopaths and red-necks being broadly unlikeable morons. So you get a lot of wisecracks that use terms such as “snowflake”, “climate change”, and “second amendment” as though just hearing those words will be enough to make you laugh. It's as though the filmmakers are hoping that you've heard better jokes to feature those concepts so frequently now that you're just conditioned into laughing at them like a dog that drools whenever it hears the ringing of a fucking bell. 

I think that the real message of the movie is that no matter which side of the political spectrum you're on, the people at either extreme are as mad as each other. Which is true. Obviously. It doesn't take an advanced course in human psychology to know that most people are dickheads. The first little bit of us that forms in the womb is our arse-hole and I'd argue that most people tend not to evolve much further than that. As much as I dislike Gill with his casual adventures into Baboon-ocide I can't say that I think much of somebody like Timothy Treadwell either. Treadwell was the focus of genius director Werner Herzog's 2005 documentary Grizzly Man after having been eaten by a wild bear that he believed to be his friend. Gill was a headcase, Catbinlady was a headcase, and Treadwell was a fucking headcase. I appreciate that as a horror/comedy The Hunt is at least attempting to have a little bit of subtext but did it have to feel so pleased with itself when only making these basic fucking points? I was once in the reception of my local college when somebody began to bang a gong really loudly. The room fell silent as we all looked to where the noise was coming from. Ten student chefs suddenly emerged with a large plate under a huge silver lid, being pushed on a trolly. The chefs stopped in a big line and announced that we were free to help ourselves to samples of their food. “What delicious food might they have made?” We all thought whilst licking our lips. A gong rang again and the silver lid was lifted to reveal nothing more exciting than a plate of fucking apples. The filmmakers are the chefs, the film's subtexts are the apples, and once again I find myself thinking, “fuck off”.

Interestingly, this film was initially postponed after it was thought that its release might seem in bad taste after a series of mass shootings in America. It then came under fire from Donald Trump who opened his odious shit-flap of a mouth to claim that the film had been “made to inflame and cause chaos”. As opposed to guns which are made to spread love and cause togetherness. Nothing says, “be my friend” like being shot by your deranged colleague on your way into work. Although if the film has one final self-evident and cliched message it's that we shouldn't judge a book by its cover. If there's any reason to see The Hunt it's for the performance of its central character played by Betty Gilpin as a cross between Kill Bill's The Bride and Pirates Of The Caribbean's Jack Sparrow. I won't spoil too much except to say that she might be more than just the slack-jawed yokel that she appears to be and that the way people underestimate her could lead to their downfall. Kind of like how this film wasn't quite the combative slice of controversial satire that perhaps we'd all been lead to believe that it might be from its initial delay and the 'edginess' of its marketing. The Hunt might have wanted to hit a more ambitious target but in the end, it was no more impressive than seeing A.A Gill gain an erection after blasting the face off a stupid monkey. Thanks for reading motherfuckers and see you next time.

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