Friday, August 09, 2019


About an hour ago, President Trump tweeted this:

He's clearly referring to The Hunt, a forthcoming film that's been the focus of much right-wing scrutiny since a story about it was published by The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday:
Ads Pulled for Gory Universal Thriller 'The Hunt' in Wake of Mass Shootings

"Did anyone see what our ratfucker-in-chief just did?" one character asks early in the screenplay for The Hunt, a Universal Pictures thriller set to open Sept. 27. Another responds: "At least The Hunt's coming up. Nothing better than going out to the Manor and slaughtering a dozen deplorables."

In the aftermath of mass shootings within days of one another that shocked and traumatized the nation, Universal is re-evaluating its strategy for the certain-to-be-controversial satire. The violent, R-rated film from producer Jason Blum's Blumhouse follows a dozen MAGA types who wake up in a clearing and realize they are being stalked for sport by elite liberals.

Over the Aug. 3 weekend, ESPN pulled an ad for the film that it had previously cleared....
At first glance, it's understandable that conservatives are upset by the film:
The script for The Hunt features the red-state characters wearing trucker hats and cowboy shirts, with one bragging about owning seven guns because it's his constitutional right. The blue-state characters — some equally adept with firearms — explain that they picked their targets because they expressed anti-choice positions or used the N-word on Twitter. "War is war," says one character after shoving a stiletto heel through the eye of a denim-clad hillbilly.
But as the anonymous author of a blog called Scriptshadow noted in April after reading the screenplay, the "deplorables" who are hunted in the movie seem to be the heroes. After several of them are killed, a "deplorable" named Crystal appears on screen:
Mom and Pop then get a call that one of the hicks, “Crystal,” is on her way there. “She’s not armed. Have a little fun with her.” Except Crystal doesn’t run in and start freaking out. She casually walks up to the counter and orders a pack of cigarettes. Mom and Pop look at each other. Uhhhh... they’ve never seen this before. Crystal is cool as a cucumber. After paying for the cigs, Crystal leaps over the counter and brutally kills both of them. Crystal is the wrong hick to have brought to the hunt....

It’s kind of amazing that we’re so attached to her considering the fact that she isn’t introduced until page 37. I think it’s because by that point we’d built up so much hatred for the hunters that we were pumped to finally have a worthy opponent.

Crystal casually walking into the fake gas station and outsmarting the hunters was the moment I became invested in the story. Before that, I was on the fence. But it’s impossible for me not to love a character after they cleverly outsmart the bad guys.
From the trailer, it's also clear that the rich liberals are the bad guys:

Some right-wingers reacted the way Trump did. Here's a report from One America News Network that begins, "Concerns of left-wing violence are on the rise ahead of an upcoming release of a highly controversial film."

Note that one of the concerned is Paul Joseph Watson, who made his name at Alex Jones's InfoWars. Also note the shock-cut from the film's bloodshed to a hallway news conference by Congressman Al Green of Texas, who's talking about impeachment, not violence.

But others on the right recognize that this movie isn't an attack on their side. Here's Breitbart's John Nolte:
The Hunt looks to me like it could be a lot of fun....

At first glance, the movie looks like murder-porn for leftists — wish fulfillment when it comes to killing we deplorables.

The trailer, though, actually makes it look as though the deplorables are the heroes-victims, though I’m sure it will be a bit more complicated than that....

Personally, I can’t wait to see The Hunt. Let’s just hope Universal and the fascist entertainment media don’t give the El Paso terrorist one more notch on his gun, one more victory, by deep-sixing it.
And here's Mark Steyn on Fox News:
"I actually approve of making films telling stories about the way we live now -- we live in an increasingly fractious 50-50 nation."
But I assume that Trump was just watching a different segment on Fox:

One of the authors of The Hunt's screenplay, Damon Lindelof (who was a co-creator of Lost and HBO's The Leftovers) has called Trump "an agent of destruction." And yet his screenplay makes rich Trump opponents (like himself) into the bad guys. Liberals can be like that. Liberal comedy often mocks liberalism. (Think Portlandia or any number of Saturday Night Live sketches.) This seems to be the drama counterpart to that self-mockery.

But it doesn't matter. The president and many other right-wingers are treating this movie as a direct assault on their side.

I'm offended because the film seems to equate my political views with elitism, sadism, and murder. It also looks like a lead-footed attempt at satire.

But who knows? Maybe it will become the new right-wing wish-fulfillment fantasy, the Red Dawn of our era. Thanks, liberal Hollywood!

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