SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for The Hunt. If you have not yet seen the film, proceed at your own risk!
From The Most Dangerous Game to Battle Royale, there are a number of titles in cinema history featuring people hunting people, and it’s an extension of that particularly gruesome big screen tradition that we now see with the arrival of Craig Zobel’s The Hunt – the new horror comedy that sees a group of right wing conspiracy theorists brought to a remote estate where they can be stalked and killed for sport. By itself it’s a gnarly concept, but the film brings it home by featuring a number of really gory and horrible deaths.
Of course, for blood-thirsty horror fans, these fatalities are a fantastic source of entertainment, and part of the fun of the movie is reflecting on how grisly it is in particular moments. It’s with that in mind that we’ve created this mini-guide to The Hunt, going through the new release and highlighting many of the great kills that are featured. So let’s dig in, shall we?
High Heel to the Eyeball
While most of the extreme violence in The Hunt doesn’t start up until Manorgate kicks off its festivities, there is a nice bit of early carnage that plays out as the liberal elites take their flight from America to the hunting ground. Perhaps because of his immense size, Rannnndeeee (Jason Kirkpatrick) wakes up earlier than he is supposed to after being drugged and kidnapped, forcing the rich CEOs to take him out earlier than expected. It’s a slow death at first, as he is stabbed in the neck and initially left to just bleed out, but Athena takes decisive action and puts the victim out of his misery when he grabs a champagne bottle as a weapon. With a stiletto taken to the eye, Rannnndeeee is put down and the players of the movie’s eponymous game are left with just 11 victims instead of 12.
Rifle Head Shot
Actress Emma Roberts may not exactly be the biggest star in Hollywood at this point in her career, but there are certain expectations created when she appears on screen… which is what makes her role in The Hunt so damn effective. When we are introduced to Yoga Pants at the start of the film, it seems like she is being set up to be a central protagonist in the story, but that idea totally goes out the window shortly after the folks being hunted in the movie discover the Manorgate weapon stash. Just a few seconds after refusing to arm herself with some kind of self-defense, the Roberts character sees her head blown off her shoulders with a rifle shot – setting up the hard truth that truly nobody is safe in the movie.
The Hunt pulls off a great “Janet Leigh in Psycho” trick with Emma Roberts’ Yoga Pants, successfully fooling the audience into thinking that she is our main protagonist before killing her off, but then the film takes that idea to the next level by performing the same twist twice in a row. Shortly after the Emma Roberts character is killed, it seems like Justin Hartley (This is Us) is ready to step up to become the movie-goer surrogate, but even he doesn’t get to last very long. Shortly after trying to save the woman who falls into the spike trap (twice), the mysterious character makes the mistake of stepping on a landmine, and the explosion winds up blowing him sky high into a million pieces.
Three Arrows, Two Grenades
There are a good number of quick deaths in The Hunt, with characters killed fast so they don’t have to suffer too much, but that’s not really a fitting description of the fate faced by Chris Berry’s aptly named Target. For just a moment, it seems like the Manorgate victim is going to be okay, as he successfully finds the fence on the border of the estate, but he winds up just not being fast enough to make it over the barb wire to escape. Not only does he wind up taking a grand total of three arrows to his body, but he is put out of his misery courtesy of two grenades (with the first one being ineffective due to its pin not being pulled before being thrown). We don’t actually see Target’s final moments, as the film cuts away before the big explosion, but it’s definitely a gnarly death.
While not exactly as bloody as some of the other kills on this list, the violence that goes down in the fake gas station in the first act of The Hunt certainly still qualifies for this list. Given that there is strength in numbers, it seems like Staten Island (Ike Barinholtz), Vanilla Nice (Sturgill Simpson), and Big Red (Kate Nowlin) are going to be okay when they manage to get away from the action of Manorgate and into the store operated by Ma (Amy Madigan) and Pa (Reed Birney), but they don’t anticipate that it’s just another trap. The trio makes the mistake of taking some food off the shelves – namely some powdered donuts – and the end result is death by poison, extra facilitated by gas grenades that wind up finishing the job.
Car Backed Over Skull
When character actor Macon Blair shows up toward the middle of The Hunt, audiences aren’t quite sure exactly what to make of him. Is he really a government official from the American embassy working to help Crystal (Betty Gilpin) and Don (Wayne Duvall) or simply another participant in Manorgate? It turns out that the answer is the latter, and the good news for Crystal is that she is able to turn the tables on him fairly easily. While driving in Fauxnvoy’s car, the heroine is able to successfully kick him out the driver-side door, and then finish him off by jumping behind the wheel and reversing over the would-be killer’s head. It’s not something we actually see in full graphic detail, but you definitely don’t need to in order to feel the full impact.
What was your favorite kill in The Hunt? Is it one we mentioned here, or a different one? Hit the comments section below with your thoughts, and stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more of our coverage of the new horror comedy.