Trailer Alert: The Hunt

ATMOSfx! Woo!
They kidnapped the wrong person for sport. Betty Gilpin (Glow) gets a starring turn in the upcoming human safari film, The Hunt. And we’ve got TWO trailers for you, one with zero spoilers, and another one which reveals some big plot points.

The thrill of hunting other people for sport. It’s a time-honored trope in the horror-thriller genre since The Most Dangerous Game. Universal pictures dips back into this well with the upcoming thriller The Hunt. Action movies like Hard Target (with Van Damme), The Running Man (with Ah-nold), Surviving the Game (With Ice-T), and Predators (With Predators hunting humans) have made a staple out of this. Inevitably, the prey gets to turn on the hunters, and it looks like Betty Gilpin gets to show off her newfound wrestler physicality as the likely action hero. This could be big for Gilpin, as Glow has established her acting chops, her physicality, and her sex appeal, all of which all led to this opportunity for her first big studio leading role. She can command a scene on the small screen. Let us see how she handles the big one.

Craig Zobel takes the reins directing this version of the old trope. Zobel has a track record of heady sci-fi genre fare, like Westworld, Z for Zachariah, The Leftovers, and American Gods, all of which are very much character drama studies. It will be interesting to see how he handles the more visceral nature of an action/horror piece. Written by LOST scribe Damon Lindeloff and Watchmen and The Leftovers writer Nick Cuse, the dialogue looks punchy, and the story will undoubtedly be full of twists.

So despite all this potential brainy production power, it still boils down to a very simple premise: The wealthy capture those less fortunate who they believe won’t be missed, and they haul them away to a remote location to track down their panicking quarry. In a Hunger-Games like twist, it appears that the hunters have allowed the hunted to arm themselves. Is it a ruse? Probably. Or, maybe the hunters want the thrill of dangerous prey. There is a better than even chance that the direction and writing can elevate this beyond pedestrian fare.

It also helps to have Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank (another actress who learned some fighting chops), and a solid backing cast of Ike Berinholtz (Blockers), Ethan Suplee (American History X), and Amy Madigan (Field of Dreams). So the table has been nicely set. Take a look at these trailers, and decide whether you think the film can live up to the promise. It certainly does not look like a dry think-piece, it looks action-packed and rollicking good fun.

Here is the teaser trailer, which is just suggestive of the feature:

And here is the trailer that shows a good chunk of the plot. Compelling, but spoiler-heavy. For the record… I think they shuffled up the plot sequence a bunch in this, so don’t think about it too hard if you watch it and maybe it won’t be spoiled for you, but for those of you who prefer to go in “clean” of plot points and “who dies”… you may want to stick to the teaser trailer.

The Hunt is rated R for some graphic violence and will be in wide release on September 27.

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