A spoiler-filled plot summary of The Hunt

(from left) Crystal (Betty Gilpin) and Athena (Hilary Swank) in "The Hunt," directed by Craig Zobel.
(from left) Crystal (Betty Gilpin) and Athena (Hilary Swank) in "The Hunt," directed by Craig Zobel. /

Whatever your reason for not seeing The Hunt this weekend, we have the answer to the question, so what actually happens?

While not as cursed as The New Mutants, The Hunt has had a tough and controversial journey to reach audiences. Finally given a wide release date and leaning in to the tagline”the most talked about movie that no one’s actually seen,” The Hunt is in theaters now. People have seen it and reviews are in, but for reasons ranging from the coronavirus to disinterest, it may not be at the top of your to-see list. Still, bet ya want to know happens.

Whether you’re social distancing this weekend or just uninterested in spending $15 simply to find out what happens, what follows is a detailed plot summary of the movie The Hunt.

Read our review of The Hunt instead. light. Not interested in spoilers?

Twelve strangers wake up disoriented, bound with gags in their mouths. They find a collection of weapons and then, before they can even get their wits about them, they are labelled “deplorables” and promptly hunted. This is all, we learn, reminiscent of the Manorgate scandal from a year prior, in which “elites” declared their intent to hunt “deplorables” on a manor. They try to escape, but it doesn’t go super well. Within the first 20 minutes, ten of them are dead. Emma Roberts is shot in the head by a sniper. A man explodes. A woman is impaled in a pit.

Left standing is Crystal (Betty Gilpin), a war veteran who manages to kill everyone in her path in a startling calm and collected manor, including the other survivor. Whoops! This all plays out as you would expect and Crystal is left on a mission to find Athena, the faceless mastermind who is hiding in a fancy home (a manor, if you will) elsewhere on the estate.

Then we get a flashback to a year prior. Athena (Hilary Swank) is getting fired. A text chain between her and some other CEOS was leaked to the public and has created a huge controversy, specifically because they were texting (joking?) about “slaughtering deplorables” at a manor. “Manorgate” is born and Athena and the others involved are “cancelled” and fired. It was a joke at the time, but the public largely took it to be true.

Naturally, this calls for revenge so they decide to bring the joke to life in Croatia, kidnapping and hunting the people who spread the texts/created the scandal in the first place. These are, of course, the people from the start of the film as well as Crystal, who is for some reason given the special codename “Snowball.”

More from Movies

Meanwhile in the present day, Crystal has found Athena. Athena tells her to leave her gun in the mailbox and come on in. They meet in the kitchen, where all good confrontations happen. Athena gives a calm speech about the best cheese for a grilled cheese (that is maybe meant to connote her elitism?) and tells Crystal her (Crystal’s) life story including but not limited to blogging about Athena under an anonymous handle.

Crystal then claims they kidnapped the wrong person and that she never trolled Athena online. Then they fight all around the house and outside, ultimately giving each other seemingly fatal blows and whilst lying bleeding out, talk some more.

Crystal wants to know why she was called Snowball. Turns out it’s a reference to Animal Farm. Crystal claims the idealistic pig is a poor fit and Athena is surprised she knows the book.

Athena still/now wants to know whether Crystal was the blogger. She denies it again and Athena dies. Crystal then realizes she actually isn’t that hurt (??).

She gets up, eats the grilled cheese, seals her wound with a creme brulee torch and raids Athena’s closet, as you do. Then she grabs a bottle of champagne and boards Athena’s private jet.

Athena’s flight crew just rolls with this and offers Crystal caviar. Crystal enjoys the caviar, sips the champagne and declares it all “f**king great.”