'The Hunt' Ending Explained: Was Betty Gilpin really Crystal Mae?

'The Hunt' uses social media and it's cons as a major theme and one of the downsides of this form of communication is the lack of credibility of news that hits us every day


                            'The Hunt' Ending Explained: Was Betty Gilpin really Crystal Mae?
Betty Gilpin in 'The Hunt' (IMDb)
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'The Hunt' was as controversial as it could get and was rightly touted be one of the most "controversial films of 2020." After a delayed release, the movie released in theatres and immediately made its way to digital platforms, following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. For those who look at it as a political satire, it is a classic Bluebloods vs Rednecks scrimmage, and for those who look at it sans the political dig, it can quite simply be summed up as a psychotic, insanely violent hunter vs hunted affair. 

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Those who have caught the movie know that a group of people is being hunted mercilessly. But one of the victims, Crystal (Betty Gilpin) decides to get back and picks off the hunters one by one until she comes face-to-face with the Athena (Hilary Swank), the leader of the hunters. The duo is then involved in a brutal fight sequence that sees Crystal get the better of Athena. 

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Ending explained

The film opens with the hunters discussing their hunting plans on text leading the audience to believe the result of the messages was the hunting that followed. However, it is revealed in the final minutes the string of texts was actually a year prior to the event. It is shown that Athena and her hunting pals were actually people in positions of power. The texts get leaked and are titled "Manorgate" that see Athena and her friends lose their jobs. Essentially, their texts were meant as a joke.

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Following their ouster from power, they plan to exact revenge by attempting to actually turn the joke to grim reality. The people who are responsible for the leak are tracked. They are shown to be conspiracy theorists who had their own speculations about Manorgate. The idea is to pick these people up and land them in an alien location. They are supplied weapons as a form of self-defense, and that would even things up for the victims. Except, most of them don't make it out alive. 

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Hilary Swank in 'The Hunt' (IMDb)

Just before the epic showdown, Athea reveals her plan and as twisted and horrific as it seemed, they realize they kidnapped the wrong Crystal. The actual person they were in search of was Crystal Mae, who went by the username Justice4Yall online. Crystal explains that the duo was from the same hometown, but her last name was May. Gilpin's Crystal follows this with one massive showdown that sees Athena die from excess wounds. In her last minutes, she asks if Crystal was really Justice4Yall, only to be denied.

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In what comes across as rather open-ended, Crystal's identity remains secret, and from the events that unfold, it does seem like Crystal was Crystal May. 'The Hunt' uses social media and it's cons as a major theme, and one of the downsides of this form of communication is the lack of credibility of news that passes by. This danger can be actually be related to the very pandemic the world is suffering from. For a longer time, much information about the coronavirus made rounds on social media and most were unverified. 

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As far as 'The Hunt' goes, the leaking of texts may be a way of exposing something criminal, but the complete facts were missing and this led to Athena and her friends lose their jobs. In return, they attempt to seek revenge but make the same mistake of not verifying information. That though worked well for Gilpin's Crystal as she made it out alive in the end.

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Looking at the political dig that was taken, 'The Hunt' was an explanation of culture wars and to a certain degree that understanding and perception of political messages. Should we look at social media as a recurring theme, it is a classic case of how just about every political statement can be scrutinized and flipped on its head. The end result is something that comes in with major consequences.

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'The Hunt' is now available on VoD.