The Hunt

I haven’t been this shaken up by a movie in a long time.

Lucas works in a daycare. He is accused of touching one of the little girls in his care.

He says she’s lying. She can’t quite remember the details. Soon, though, the whole class is recounting the same story. They’ve all been touched inappropriately. They can all describe his basement, his couch and tables and rugs, in fine detail. But Lucas doesn’t have a basement.

the-hunt-klara-and-agnesThe thing is, we know the little girl is lying, right from the start. She’s just a kid and I felt no real ill-will toward her. She even tries to recant, but the problem is, her parents and teachers are already caught up in the persecution of a pedophile. His best friends, his girlfriend, his ex-wife – everyone is prepared to believe the worst. Gossip gets out of hand in this small Danish community in about 10 seconds flat. He loses his job, gets arrested, custody of his son is revoked. His whole life is turned upside down. The town is vehement about his guilt, and if the law won’t prosecute them, they will.

It’s absolutely awful to see this man wrongly convicted of the absolute worst thing you can accuse someone of. It’s fucking brutal. But I couldn’t quite hate the parents as much as I wanted. They aren’t really villains; they’re protecting their children. There’s some mishandling along the way, but of course there is. We are talking about very smThe-Huntall children, and of course things will get heated when we believe the worst has happened. This movie gave me such a heavy heart that I needed there to be a villain, but I think even Lucas struggled to entirely blame his tormenters – after all, he too is a father. The Hunt (English Subtitled) is very skillfully assembled, and all the more disturbing because it feels entirely too possible.

But what happens to Lucas? Even if he’s proven innocent, even if all the kids recant, even if all the parents are convinced…can his life ever recover?

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30 thoughts on “The Hunt

  1. Liz A.

    Yikes. And all too plausible, especially in this shaming internet culture. That’s why we must be careful about such things and jumping on bandwagons when someone is being shamed. About anything, really.

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  2. indiefan20

    This is actually one of my favorite movies of all time. “Harrowing” would be a good word to describe it. I tried to convince my mom to watch this and she was like “Hell no, it sounds super depressing’ and finally she watched it and she loved it. I was like ‘see, mom? I told you.’ I was surprised to see so many people on movie sites condemning the five-year-old girl for being a ‘cunt.’ As for me, I couldn’t help feeling sorry for her… too young to really understand the consequences of her actions, she’s going to have to live with her fuck-up for the rest of her life. Plus, cringing at how real that dog killing looked. 😦

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  3. reocochran

    This is an excellent snd honest rwview, Jay. There will be discomfort and dissatisfaction with possible pedophile at large. I was reminded of the sad and confusing way a true life movie went, “The Devil’s Knot.” Reese Witherspoon is great as the mother. This is how a small town gets a case all wrong.

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  4. Anna (Film Grimoire)

    Lovely write-up Jay. This film is so devastating. It’s one of those films that leaves you in a pit of despair where you have to sit and ponder life for half an hour or more afterwards. At least, that’s how I felt!

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  5. ridicuryder

    Jay,

    I can see the “tragedy” for the guy in these circumstances only so far as he’s experienced the male equivalent of being raped. A teenager getting gang-banged in a small town gets her life’s trajectory violently twisted out from her control. It seems society’s most generous place to eventually land with the young lady is “wrong place / wrong time / too bad.” I have pretty much the same view in the scenario of a wrongly labeled guy, but it’s kinda funny how a man evokes so much more concern and grief.

    RR

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  6. ruth

    Oh this is such an excellent thriller. It really grabbed you from the get go and riveting until the very end. Mads was phenomenal here, and like you said, it’s very disturbing given how plausible it is. It’s the witch-hunt mentality that happens more often than we think.

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  7. J.

    I really liked this one. I also liked that it wasn’t a ‘did he or didn’t he’ type flick – you knew it was all unravelling and felt frustrated … just leaving you hoping it would all come out in the wash.

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