As you’ve probably heard by now, Universal has cancelled the theatrical release of The Hunt. The film, directed by Craig Zobel and written by Nick Cuse and Damon Lindelof, was due to drop on September 27th. The premise of this violent thriller slash grindhouse actioner was said to feature wealthy liberals who kidnap said “deplorables” and put them into a forested compound where they’re picked off one by one for sport.
I’ve only seen the trailer, so let me get this straight: The movie is about poor conservatives getting revenge on rich liberals, and powers that be misinterpreted it as poor liberals getting revenge on rich conservatives because even though the Republicans rail against the “elites” they themselves know that they are actually the elites and so just naturally assume that any movie that has an anti-elitist message is automatically against them and thus pushed to have a movie pulled that actually supports their propaganda without realizing it and is in fact exactly the kind of movie Republicans constantly complain “liberal Hollywood” doesn’t make that they should.
I think it’s even simpler than that. If there is anything I’ve learned from watching 1980’s religious panic films, it’s that the religious right and their allies have no ability to analyze a narrative whatsoever. You put “devil” in the title of a song and they think it’s worshipping the devil. You have a demon in your cartoon, and they’ll accuse the cartoon of promoting Satanism, even if the demon is the villain of the piece. They have absolutely have no understanding of how fiction works.
Also, what is everyone basing the assumption that the elites in this movie are “liberal-coded” on? They definitely came across as cosmopolitan, but they also said things like, “We pay for everything.” … If anything, it seemed like a parody of Davos Man, the sort of folks who are socially moderate — read: irreligious, don’t care about the gays or abortion — but are going to vote for whoever delivers their tax cuts.
Sidenote: They’ve been making this same movie for 90 years. See The Most Dangerous Game circa 1932. However, this is America, 2019.
What will become of The Hunt now?
Will it get quietly dumped on some streaming service like one of those crappy Weinstein company fallout movies?
Will it eventually get a brief release and then be largely ignored like The Interview?
Will it sit on the shelf and no one will care like the New Mutants movie?
Will it sit on the shelf and gain a cult fascination like The Day The Clown Cried?
Scared cowards. Just because most Americans are immune to satire doesn’t mean it should not exist.
Universal had already paused the film’s marketing campaign in the wake of the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio but now the studio pulls the plug due to the fact that it would be impossible to find a release date/time for any movie featuring a similar scenario?
Well, let’s do the math.
Can’t release it when a shooting’s too fresh. So, at the time of Dayton, with 251 mass shootings in 215 days for the year, that works out to (roughly rounded) 1.17 mass shootings a day.
Seven weeks delay at seven days a week for 49 days, 1.17 mass shootings a day, that’s 57.33 mass shootings we can expect during the period.
Multiply that by apparently needing to shoot four people in order to qualify as one of the 1.17 mass shootings a day, that works out to theoretically, based on past performance 229 people shot in our requisite 1.17 mass shootings a day (rounded down, lowest possible volume given current definitions).
Looks like there is never going to be a good time.
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