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How to watch The Hunt: Stream the controversial film anywhere in the world

Matt Reed
5 Apr 2022
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One of the most controversial films of recent times has arrived on UK streaming. Here’s how to watch it anywhere

The release of controversial dark comedy The Hunt was initially halted in the US after a spate of shootings raised concerns over the film’s violent subject matter.

Since then, it has been released for cinematic viewing and is now available to stream via Netflix in the UK, among other countries. You can also access the streaming service from abroad using a good VPN service, such as ExpressVPN or NordVPN, should the need arise.

READ NEXT: How to stream UK TV abroad

What is it about?

To give a spoiler-free summary, the controversial film features a gang of “elites” who hunt down and murder "deplorables” and could best be described as a gory, horror-satire movie. The plot is loosely based on the short story The Most Dangerous Game, written by American author Richard Connell in 1924. Amongst the pantheon of films, it would sit near to its Blumhouse production stablemate The Purge or other human-hunting-human films like The Hunger Games, except with a decidedly more political edge. It stars Hillary Swank as the leader of the “rich, liberal elites” alongside actors Betty Gilpin and Emma Roberts, amongst others.

Why did the film get banned?

On 8 August 2019, marketing and promotion of the film – then due to be released at the end of September 2019 in US cinemas – came to a halt after 33 people were killed in two shootings in El Pasa, Texas and Dayton, Ohio over one weekend. At the time, a studio representative said in a statement: “Out of sensitivity to the attention on the country’s recent shooting tragedies, Universal Pictures and the filmmakers of The Hunt have temporarily paused its marketing campaign and are reviewing materials as we move forward.”

The premise of this film then caught the attention of conservative news outlets for its use of “deplorables” in the description and script as being discriminatory against the financially-poor Americans murdered in the film by “elites”. This, in turn, fanned the flames of a perceived Republican vs Democrat ‘culture war’ – especially since Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton used the word “deplorables” to describe Trump supporters in 2016 – despite the fact no one in the media or public sphere had seen the film at this stage.

This outrage even reached the highest office in the country, with then-President Donald Trump alluding to the film across two tweets on 9 August 2019. One day later, on 10 August 2019, Universal announced it was cancelling the film’s 27 September release date altogether.

Did the film get released?

In February 2020, Universal Studios announced that the film would be theatrically released on Friday 13 March 2020 in the United States. Since the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdown measures caused cinemas to close just days later, Universal then released the film via premium video-on-demand services in the US and Canada on 20 March.

How to watch The Hunt in the UK: HMV or Amazon Prime Video

The best way to make sure you always have a copy of The Hunt – should any streaming services remove it from view once again – is to permanently purchase a physical copy via HMV. That way, you can always have it to hand should it be pulled from view.

If you don’t want to wait around for a physical copy, you can also purchase the film via Amazon Prime Video. Here, you can buy The Hunt in UHD quality for £5.99 and stream whenever you like. If you would prefer to rent the film, that’ll cost £3.49 for UHD quality pictures. After renting, you have 30 days to start watching the film and 48-hours to finish it once you’ve pressed play.

Buy now from HMV Buy now from Amazon


How to watch The Hunt in the UK: Netflix subscription

While The Hunt has been available for rent or purchase via platforms like Amazon since soon after its cinematic release, the film was not available as part of a broader streaming package in the United Kingdom until over two years later. The movie arrived on Netflix on 6 February 2022 in the UK, meaning you can stream it right now.

A world-renowned streaming service, Netflix has over 6,500 titles to choose from including the 2022 Oscar-winning film The Power of the Dog and much-celebrated television series like Stranger Things. It will cost you £6.99/mth to stream The Hunt and any other Netflix content at 480p resolution, £10.99/mth for 1080p quality or £15.99/mth for the richest 4K pictures.

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How to watch The Hunt in the US: Amazon or Netflix UK with a VPN

Unfortunately, it is not possible to stream The Hunt in the United States at present after Paramount Plus took the film out of its streaming library. This means that the only way to watch the movie is by renting or purchasing the film individually via retailers like Amazon. You can rent it for $3.99 or purchase it outright for $14.99.

Alternatively, if you’re a canny operator with a Netflix subscription, you can watch The Hunt via Netflix UK. By using a VPN, you can access your Netflix account remotely in the UK and watch the movie without a hitch. This is because Netflix doesn’t preclude customers from watching Netflix outside their registered area, so wherever you are in the world – or wherever your VPN says you are – you will get that country’s Netflix library.

The VPN does this by tricking your device into thinking it's located in a different location by rerouting your IP address. For Netflix users, this can unlock a world’s worth of content – like The Hunt – that would otherwise be unavailable to them.

Purchasing a Netflix subscription will cost you $9.99/mth for a basic 480p resolution package, $15.49/mth for 1080p quality or $19.99/mth for the premium ultra-HD service. Meanwhile, our favourite VPN for streaming is ExpressVPN. It’s a speedy, connected service that you can even try out for 30-days on the house. Plus, if you commit

Buy ExpressVPN subscription now


How to watch The Hunt anywhere in the world: Use a VPN

While outside your country of residence, you might be craving a little cinematic action. However, as you may know already, connecting to a streaming library outside your current location is not usually possible since these companies geo-block content based on your location. Or, as with countries like the United States, there may simply be no option to stream The Hunt as no streaming services are currently hosting it. The solution? Using a good VPN service.

Shorthand for ‘Virtual Private Network’, a VPN creates a secure, private connection between your device and the internet so that no one – not even your ISP, your company or any potential hackers – can see your online activity or whereabouts. A VPN allows you to spoof your location, meaning you can connect to a server in the location your streaming service is registered and access all its contents wherever in the world you are.

Netflix is showing The Hunt in a select number of countries, including Finland, Denmark, Ireland, Australia, and Sweden, so if you have a subscription to the streaming giant you will be able to watch the movie after connecting to a VPN server in any of these countries.

Both of the ones we mention below have thousands of servers dotted across the globe, offering you plenty of options, top-notch security and incredible speeds.

READ NEXT: Best VPN services

ExpressVPN: Our top choice for streaming, ExpressVPN is our top pick to bypass the geo-blocking of streaming services without a hitch. With more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries, you'll be able to access The Hunt on a Netflix library wherever you are - and across five devices should you so choose. Even better still, you'll get 3 months free if you follow the link below, saving a massive 49% on the total cost. But, should you find the service isn't to your taste, there's a lengthy 30-days no-questions-asked moneyback guarantee.

Read our full ExpressVPN review for more details

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NordVPN: While ExpressVPN is our favourite option for streaming, the best all-around package comes from NordVPN. What makes this VPN ideal for watching movies like The Hunt is its exceptionally fast speeds. Using a 200Mbits/sec fibre line, we found impressive download speeds of 182Mbits/sec from NordVPN's US servers. And since NordVPN is a company based in Panama, your data is safe, secure and well beyond the reach of any authorities. To make things extra safe, there’s also built-in ad and malware blocking too.

Read our full NordVPN review for more details

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