Movie review: The Hunt
Perhaps the biggest claim to fame for this horror flick from Blumhouse Productions prior to its March release, just before the Covid-19 pandemic shuttered cinemas worldwide, was that it was denounced by Mr Donald Trump for its perceived targeting of right-wing Republican voters.
The US President had tweeted his disdain for "liberal Hollywood", saying "the movie coming out is made in order to inflame and cause chaos".
Call it free publicity or even an unwitting endorsement, but anything Mr Tiny Hands hates, I will probably like very much.
The Hunt is an irreverent, over-the-top suspense thriller, one that never lets up until the final frame.
And it does target every character equally, although ironically, the red-state, working-class conservatives actually come across a little better.
Things kick off when a group of rich elite liberals led by a mysterious woman (Hilary Swank) gathers at a remote manor house to kill off "deplorables" - a term used by Mrs Hillary Clinton during the 2016 US presidential election campaign to refer to Trump supporters - one by one for sport.
But this plan is derailed when one of the captives, an Afghanistan veteran (Betty Gilpin), turns the blood-soaked cat-and-mouse game on its head by outwitting her tormentors.
The tension is off the charts, with dark humour and big shocks aplenty, and the violence is almost gleeful.
The Hunt feels like a natural successor to films like Battle Royale, The Hunger Games and The Purge, using the survivalist premise to make a wider commentary about society, while satirising increasingly divided political lines, culture wars and cancel culture.
Its secret weapon is the magnetic Gilpin (Glow, Nurse Jackie) who carries the show effortlessly, whether it's nonchalantly dispatching an elderly couple with a shotgun or telling a chilling version of The Tortoise And The Hare children's tale.
From the brutal way she eliminates her enemies to her icy charisma, not only does she channel Uma Thurman's Bride in Kill Bill, she is almost the soul sister of Jodie Comer's equally savage assassin Villanelle from Killing Eve.
Her epic showdown with Swank in the final act isn't just a battle of wills, but one of the wildest girl fights committed to film.