The Hunt (2012)
By: Devon B. on January 24, 2015 | Comments
Jinga Films | All Regions, NTSC | 2.0:1 (16:9 enhanced) | French DD 5.1 | 74 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Credits
Director: Thomas Szczepanski
Stars: Guillaume Beylard, Zuriel De Peslouan, Sarah Lucide, Jellali Mouina
Writers: François Gaillard, Thomas Szczepanski
Country: France
The idea of a game where contestants battle to the death is nothing new. There's The Condemned, Knockout, The Running Man, Battle Royale…the list is practically endless. The concept's even gone totally mainstream in the last decade with The Hunger Games, so now even tweens can enjoy the horrific slaughter. The Hunt (ger Games?) tries to add something new to The Most Dangerous Game mix by being in French. It's a risky gamble, but does it pay off?

This time the deadly shenanigans start when a reporter is called on his shoddy stories and told to do some hard investigative journalism, preferably on news involving violence and celebrities. He chases a lead and that takes him to some sort of dodgy sports gambling organisation. The reporter ends up being more integral to the story than initially planned when he sneaks his way into the proceedings and finds that he's now expected to hunt his fellow man.

The Hunt is a low budget movie, but I didn't find that a problem. Sometimes in movies with illicit rings the set ups are too snazzy, whereas having a lower budget means the situation doesn't look too flash. This helps make the scenario more believable because everything looks like it might've been organised by just a few people.

Being French does actually set this movie apart from its peers because there's some porn playing in the background in one scene, and it's my understanding that porn is always playing somewhere in any room in France. This sort of cultural touch really helps enhance the film. The movie also has a sense of humour, but it's not overly forceful with its gags. Our hero wears an OCP shirt at one point, a clear nod RoboCop, a film with some hilarious commentary on the media, and given our intrepid hero is part of the media I assume that was an important costuming choice. While I like to think I live in a world where everyone would immediately get that reference, I own an OCP shirt and most people have no idea what it is, thus my conclusion that this would be a subtle gag to the average viewer. The Hunt has other playful moments of humour, such as a funny situation that both creates and undermines gratuitous nudity, and these moments help keep the viewer engaged during the story set up. There's a bit of sleaze and grue, but mostly this is a straightforward action/thriller, albeit with the occasional burst of background porn.

One of The Hunt's greatest assets is that it does not fuck around. At 74 minutes in length the whole thing's over even before people with infinitesimal attention spans would have the chance to get bored. It's not going to revolutionise cinema, or even the human hunting subgenre, but it's a solid effort that plays to its strengths.
The Disc
There's a bit of motion judder but otherwise the print is decent with a clean and clear picture. It doesn't look like a high budget movie, but that'd be because it isn't and not a fault with the DVD. What may be a fault with the DVD is the strange aspect ratio. According to my computer the film is at 2.0:1, and according to my eyes it wasn't sitting within the normal parameters on my tele. I don't know why the image would be cropped this way, but it is. The film has a French 5.1 mix with hardcoded, mostly error free English subs. Aside from flying arrows there's not a lot of sound direction in the mix, but I'm guessing that's the original sound design and not a DVD flaw. Extras include chapter breaks and a DVD menu screen.
The Verdict

The Hunt is worth a look, but with its strange aspect ratio and total lack of extras this DVD isn't exactly going to have buyers salivating at the thought of a purchase.

Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
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