Gun-based ads for horror movie 'The Hunt' get pulled in the wake of mass shootings in the US

Ben Arnold
Contributor
The Hunt (Credit: Blumhouse/Universal)

Horror specialist Blumhouse is having gun-heavy adverts for its new movie The Hunt pulled in the wake of the mass shootings in the US.

The movie, co-written by Lost and Prometheus writer Damon Lindelof, and being released by Universal, is a satirical horror in which a group of strangers, awake in the woods to find they're being hunted.

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It soon emerges that the hunted are a group of MAGA-voting 'deplorables' and the hunters are a wealthy liberal elite.

However, according to The Hollywood Reporter, in the wake of shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, which have left 34 dead, some networks running ads for the movie are axing them.

Disney-owned ESPN is said to have 'yanked' one over the weekend, while a source at the network told the industry paper that it won't be showing any ad spots for the movie in the coming weeks.

The (occasionally graphic) trailer can be seen below...

Another source at the studio said that there had also been cuts made to a rough cut of the movie even before the shootings.

Per THR, the politically-charged plot finds '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'.

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A filmmaker with links to Universal told the paper: “Employees in different departments were questioning the wisdom of making such a movie in these times.

“In light of the horrific [recent shootings], is this not the most craven, irresponsible, dangerous exploitation?”

The movie, which reportedly features 'ultra-violent killings', stars Betty Gilpin, Emma Roberts, Hilary Swank, Ike Barinholtz and It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia's Glenn Howerton.

It's due out in September.