‘The Hunt’ cancelled

Universal cancels ‘The Hunt’ release after mass shootings in Ohio and Texas

I wrote about this movie in a previous post. 

This unreleased film is about wealthy coastal elites hunting red-state whites… for sport.

The movie was from the same company, Blumhouse Productions, that gave us The First PurgeThe First Purge was about whites hunting minorities once every year.

The earlier film from Blumhouse was a decidedly leftwing dystopian fantasy, whereas this one plays into rightwing fears. I therefore don’t want to read too much of a political motive into the scenario of The Hunt–which casts working-class whites as victims. Blumhouse Productions seems dedicated  to creating edgy films that stride both sides of the political divide.

I don’t have a problem with the subject matter, per se. Mass, socially coordinated homicide is an old subject in literature, especially of the speculative kind. Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery, and Logan’s Run (the movie as well as the novel) present scenarios in which murder is carried out on an organized, legally sanctioned scale.

The company of other humans can be a source of refuge; but it can also be a source of brutality and violence.  This contradiction is part of our history, and, arguably, our DNA. We need not wonder, then, that it is a recurring theme in film and fiction.

That said, we live in an age in which audiences across the political spectrum are extremely sensitive and touchy.

Now that The Hunt has been canceled, the second-guessing has already started on the Internet, from both the left- and the right-leaning commentariat.

Whether or not the release of a controversial piece is worth the grief it might entail is a decision that every writer, publishing house, and movie studio has to make on a case-by-case basis. It is always their call–not your call–or mine, either. 

I would like to claim that I have never held anything back for fear of “the Twitter mob”.  For the most part, I don’t. There are, however, blog posts that I refrain from linking to on social media, simply because, I know how social media is. I figure that these essays will be found by people who come here regularly, people who like me, and who appreciate what I do.

Anyway, The Hunt is on the skids, at least for now.