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The Hunt (Blu-ray Review)

The Hunt - www.whysoblu.comTHE HUNT is a disturbing depiction of how a lie is taken as truth when gossip, doubt and malice are allowed to flourish and ignite a witch-hunt that soon threatens to destroy an innocent man’s life. Lucas is just starting to get his life back together after losing his job and facing a difficult divorce, when his life is shattered by an untruthful remark throwing his small community into a collective state of hysteria. As the lie spreads, Lucas is forced to fight a lonely battle for his life and dignity.  

 

 

 

The Hunt - www.whysoblu.com

 

Film 

The Hunt is the latest film directed by Thomas Vinterberg and stars Mad Mikkelsen as a grade school teacher in a small tight knit community in Denmark. When a little girl by the name of Klara makes stunning accusations to the school’s headmaster about inappropriate conduct towards her by Lucas (Mikkelsen) the sleepy Danish community will be thrust into something that will have great consequences for all of those involved. Mainly Lucas, because he didn’t do anything wrong.

Yes, I know that last bit may have been spoiler-ed but I assure you that it was not. We know he didn’t do anything wrong but the point of The Hunt is to make it to end and to see if there is any resolution to the whole complicated mess that Lucas has been put through. Child actress Annika Wenderkopp, who has a very overactive imagination at home and at school, plays Klara marvelously. She lives with her parents and teenage brother. Her home life isn’t the best – her father is an alcoholic and her older brother brings friends to the house that are of bad influence, so she can only retreat to her imagination, school, and to the company of Lucas. It’s during a game at the school that Klara becomes a little too affectionate towards Lucas that sets the events into play. She gives Lucas a peck on the lips and after Lucas chastises her for it she takes that and distorts it and accuses him of sexual abuse.

Word reaches the head master of the school, then Klara’s parents, and then the town itself. This only compounds matters even more, because Lucas is a single father who is trying to get permanent custody of his teenage son from his ex-wife and word even reaches her about what Lucas is being accused of. Lucas is never given the benefit of the doubt that this little girl with the overactive imagination is making things up.

The little community where Lucas lives is like that show Cheers – in that everyone knows your name – and with that, vicious rumors become truths in the eyes of a mob mentality. Lucas is shunned wherever he goes, thrown out of supermarkets, former best friends become enemies, his property is damaged, and family threatened. Watching The Hunt was a bit of a daunting task, because the subject matter is up there in scale – it’s not the most comfortable of viewing. When I watched the special features the director mentioned that The Hunt was a composite of many real life cases in which a child makes false accusations against an adult for which there are consequences. Those consequences are that the person being falsely accused never gets vindicated, because the “what-if” question is society’s eyes still lingers. 

I had a small conversation with a friend who also saw the film and his biggest complaint was how mute and laid back some of the characters were even after all of these accusations were being tossed about. I had to tell him that it’s the Danish and Northern European culture. Everyone takes a wait and see approach in addition to being super polite and listening and waiting to talk. It’s not like the USA at all in that sense.

If you can stomach the subject matter I do think that The Hunt is worth checking out and I do think that Mads Mikkelsen gives a great performance as poor Lucas, the victim of circumstance. Seek out The Hunt on Blu-ray!

 

The Hunt - www.whysoblu.com

Video 

The Hunt is presented in 1080p, 2.35:1 widescreen (16X9). Shot in Denmark, where it appears to go from fall into winter at a rapid pace, the transfer keeps up with it and gives us a very warm and cool palette through our harrowing journey. Flesh tones are natural and only flush when someone over exerts himself or herself; black levels are natural and never crush. Contrast levels remain steady and never appear blown out or diffused. The Hunt appears to have been it almost exclusively by natural light and this translates to a nice and inviting high definition presentation. I am pleased with the video transfer.

The Hunt - www.whysoblu.com

Audio 

The Hunt is presented in Danish DTS-HD MA 5.1, with optional English subtitles. The Hunt is a very low-key film considering the subject matter but this lossless surround sound track proves worthy of the near-reference rating. Dialogue is clear, crisp, and distinct, with no signs of distortion or crackling of any sort. There are a couple of scenes where the characters talk to each other in English and those scenes are clear, as well. We also have a couple of scenes of people hunting in the woods and when you hear the gunshots the surround sound channels handle the echoes beautifully. The LFE channel remains subdued and only perks up a couple of times during the film but that is to be expected in a drama film like this. It’s still a great sounding Blu-ray.

The Hunt - www.whysoblu.com

Extras 

The Hunt just a smidgen of special feature offerings. There are some deleted and extended scenes along with a shocking alternate ending, a short making-of featurette, and a trailer. The featurette is in English and the deleted scenes/alternate ending/trailer are all presented in HD.

  • Outtakes/Deleted Scenes/Extended Scenes
  • Making of The Hunt 
  • Alternate Ending
  • Theatrical Trailer

 

The Hunt - www.whysoblu.com

Summary 

The Hunt was an insanely difficult film to tackle considering the subject matter but the fact that Mads Mikkelsen was our protagonist made an easier ordeal to handle. Mads is a terrific actor and he plays the crap out of Lucas. He IS Lucas. Magnolia has done a great job on the audio and video specifications but the special features could have been beefed up just a bit more. The Hunt may have gone under the radar for some, but now that it’s here on Blu-ray more people should see it. Recommended!

Order The Hunt on Blu-ray!

The Hunt - www.whysoblu.com

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

1 Response to “The Hunt (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    Loved this film.