Captivating and relentless, The Hunt is a sure-footed examination of some very difficult subject matter.
PictureAs I've said before, it's getting harder and harder to pick fault with the high quality video presentations we're seeing more and more of these days. Techniques are becoming standardized, so much so, that you almost have to try to make a movie of this day and age look bad. Once again, this is true of The Hunt. The 2.35:1 AVC encode is nigh on perfect. Here's the thing - It's a 1080/50i transfer. I'm speculating, but I think the reason the transfer is 1080i is to do with broadcast specs in Denmark, but whether I'm right or wrong on that, what I can tell you with complete confidence, is that the result is utterly indistinguishable from any 1080p presentation I've ever seen - in fact, I didn't even notice this was a 1080/50i transfer until someone pointed it out to me.
Charlotte Bruus Christensen's photography brings an elegance to the movie that is so understated, yet so brilliantly entrancing. Using Depth of Field to great purpose, Christensen has managed to perfectly capture focus on what the director wants our attention on. This can occasionally lead to some minor discrepancies in edging that I suspect has been treated with some enhancement, but its absolutely nothing to worry about. Colours are impeccably rendered, and sway towards more autumnal shades of orange and yellow. Skin tones are natural and feel extremely realistic. Detail is evident in bucket loads, all the way deep into the darker shadow territory. When Lucas is sitting in the church, the creases on his jacket are so well defined that it's almost as though you can feel the texture on it, and the porous skin texture is brilliant. There's a slight hint of grain in the image, but it's absolutely intentional, and welcome as far as I'm concerned. Blacks are deep and inky, and the overall contrast is excellent. There is at times the slight hint of green to the picture that, although it doesn't feel wrong, doesn't quite seem to fit with the imagery we're seeing at the time, but it certainly doesn't detract from the quality of the image, and is definitely more of a directorial decision. All in all, excellent visual fidelity, just shy of the reference mark in my view.
SoundThe subject matter dictates how extensive the sound mix needs to be once again, and there's nothing overly taxing required for The Hunt. The DTS-HD Master 5.1 audio track is, for what it's worth, absolutely excellent, but there's nothing that really puts anything to the test. Dialogue is crystal clear throughout, with plenty of high frequency to pack the punch required. The ambiences are subtle and understated, but bring life to the image. Occasionally the mainly frontal array presentation does stretch it's legs and reach out to the surrounds. When it does, it works well, but it never gives your speakers much to worry about really. I have to say that Nikolaj Egelund's score is either very forgettable, or so subtle that you barely notice it, but either way, it's not intrusive or invasive in any way. Not much else to tell on the audio front, other than everything it needs to do, it does very well indeed.
ExtrasIt makes for grim reading, the only extra available on this Blu-ray release is the trailer for the feature film.
VerdictCaptivating and relentless, The hunt is a sure-footed examination of some very difficult subject matter. A young girl wrongly accuses her teacher of indecent behaviour, which subsequently escalates beyond anything she thought imaginable. It becomes something of an expose into how adults can sometimes allow things to snowball without properly examining the evidence, allowing their puritanical and blinkered protective nature towards children to prevail over due dilligence. One man's innocence is shattered by the very nature of the accusations against him, the hunt for guilt more important than the quest for truth. The hunt brilliantly tells the story of a school teachers battle against the words of an innocent child who told some silly little lies.
For a movie that's delivered with such care and confidence, there's little I can be critical of with The Hunt, despite the fact that it's extremely light on additional material. With an excellent, near reference picture, and a solid sound presentation, incredible acting, and enveloping stroyline, you could do a lot worse than to add The Hunt to your shelf this spring.
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