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The video game:

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: The Skinz
    • Are they wearing obsenities to prove how unshakable they are with their beliefs? Or were they just idiots who didn't recognise the insults were against them for being white supremacists?
    • The member that as killed by Ramirez in the opening cutscene of "White Trash"; did he not realise who Ramirez was? Or was his stupidity just the result of being violently drunk?
  • Awesome Art: The character designs in Manhunt are outstanding and memorable, most notably Piggsy, who is easily the most memorable of them all due to how shocking his design is.
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  • Awesome Moments: Really, just Cash's entire one-man assault on Starkweather's mansion. Here's a guy who has spent a night picking off petty street gangs, dim-witted white supremacists that live in a junkyard, criminally insane inmates, crazed militiamen and Vietnam vets, pedophiles and Satanist junkies, and he finally ends the night single-handedly slashing and shooting his way through trained and heavily-armed mercenaries before taking on a deranged pig-masked man with a chainsaw while Starkweather cowers in his office, knowing that he is royally fucked.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The first game in particular sports an excellent synth soundtrack in the style of John Carpenter and 1980's slasher films.
    • The BDSM Club theme from the second game is pretty dark, but counts as this.
    • If Bittersweet Ending had a theme song, then the second part of "End Credits" would be a good example, where after taking out Starkweather at last, Cash has finally left Carcer City after fighting for his own freedom.
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  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: At the end of the credits of the first game. There is a Video Clip of... something that looks like a robot chef hosting a cooking show, and it has absolutely nothing to do with anything in the game. The implication of the brief scene seems to be that the events of the entire game were playing on a VHS tape that had been used to previously record something else, and the player has now reached the point in the tape where the previous recording is coming through on the magnetic tape.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Manhunt: Lionel Starkweather is a rich man who creates snuff films for his own pleasure and profit. Using his fortune to acquire convicted death-row inmate James Earl Cash, Starkweather sets him loose in an urban jungle while hunted by gang members and corrupt law enforcement. Starkweather constantly ups the stakes by putting others in danger and has Cash's innocent family kidnapped to face almost-certain death (they all end up dying). Starkweather's prize fighter is an insane, naked man wearing a pig's head named Piggsy who has clearly lost his mind through what Starkweather has put him through. Starkweather's voice dogs the player throughout as the depraved millionaire positively revels in the horror and brutality he creates.
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    • Manhunt 2:
      • Dr. Pickman is the head of the Project and the man responsible for their long list of atrocities. Once a scientist working for the government who had his research shut down for his willingness to torture people without remorse, Pickman continued to work illegally with the help of private funding and used human subjects in a series of sadistic experiments, including forcing a man to feed on corpses driving him crazy enough to commit suicide by hitting his head against the wall for almost an hour; reconditioning a man with various forms of torture and Mind Rape before offering him a victim to be killed; and engulfing a man in flames until his skin and nerves were permanently damaged, causing him to fall into a coma before death. Pickman dumps those who survive but are broken beyond repair at Dixmor Asylum, where they live in horrible conditions and are regularly abused by the staff, with some committing suicide to escape the suffering. Running a strip club as a front for the Project, Pickman recruits sexual deviants to "work" there for him in bringing victims to a torture dungeon and producing Snuff Films. Creating the Pickman Bridge, which would allow two personalities to co-exist within the same body, Pickman places the psychopathic Leo Kasper inside the mind of Daniel Lamb and feels indifferent when Leo goes on a killing spree, controlling the damage by erasing Daniel's past and condemning him to Dixmor Asylum for six years with other failed Pickman Bridge subjects.
      • Leo Kasper is a murder-obsessed government assassin implied to have been a patient afflicted with an acute case of antisocial personality disorder. After having his own personality placed inside the mind of Daniel Lamb by the Project, Leo takes the opportunity to cause as much death as possible and erase Daniel's past to assume total control over his body, starting by killing people close to him, including his best friend and his therapist; and committing a killing spree in his neighborhood which ended with the brutal death of his wife, stabbing her multiple times with a kitchen knife while laughing maniacally. Using a katana, Leo breaks into a TV station owned by the Project and slaughters more than twenty people inside, dismembering some of them and hanging one with a microphone. Despite his crimes, Leo maintains a façade of being Daniel's ally, instructing him into killing his enemies in the worst ways possible, just so he can see Daniel becoming a "sick fuck" like himself before he can destroy his personality. In a franchise filled with depraved and repugnant criminals, Leo manages to be one of the worst.
  • Contested Sequel: The second game, while uniformly more poorly received than the first game, still has its defenders.
  • Demonic Spiders: The Cerberus themselves, specially in the brutal penultimate levels like Border Patrol and Key Personnel. They're tough, heavily armed and they can chew off a huge chunk of your health even on Fetish (default) difficulty. Don't you think you can just easily kill one by one regardless of stealth, they can chase you down in groups for several seconds or more and blow your cover with their SPAS-12s with tactical light attachment before filling you with lead in mere seconds.
  • Disappointing Last Level: The last few levels of the first game mostly abandon the stealth elements and executions in favor of gunplay. A large chunk of the second game falls prey to this as well.
  • Difficulty Spike: In the first game, the increased emphasis on gunplay from about the tenth mission onwards makes the game substantially harder since it removes the player's key advantage of stealth and forces them to rely on Cash's rather bad aim with guns.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Piggsy is the most memorable enemy from both games and outside of the game as a whole for being genuinely disturbing.
    • Among the Gangs from the first game, The Smileys seem to be the most popular due to how insane they all are and how hilarious their lines can be.
    • The Watchdogs in the second game are also popular with their design and their snarky sense of humor.
  • Fridge Brilliance:
    • A game in which a sick guy sitting in front of a computer screen in a darkened room encourages the player character to violently kill people for his own pleasure - an incredibly brilliant postmodern satire on violent video games?
    • When Cash saves the journalist and gets the evidence she wanted, why doesn't he just get out of Carcer City instead of personally going after Starkweather? The director's proved his influence on the police department with the corrupt cops who Cash just encountered. The mere fact that Starkweather can even host these "games" means that even if someone brought evidence against him, he could just make it go away. Cash is just making sure that Starkweather won't escape punishment.
    • In the second game, some of the Watchdogs hunting dialogue includes lines where they call Daniel by his name. However, they say them even during the levels where you are playing as Leo. At first it appears to be just a scripting oversight, making players figure that Rockstar just didn't bother to record and program audio specific for the levels where you're playing as Leo. Turns out it was a foreshadowing to the fact that Leo and Daniel are actually the same person.
      • This is even shown as of the first level, since Leo is often on the other side of locked doors while Daniel is trying to escape. It's an early hint that he's not really physically there.
  • Fridge Horror: One of the smileys talks in an unnaturally high voice, talking like a woman accusing her husband of cheating on her... except one line where he talks with a much deeper voice, Crying about how he's sorry and begging his wife to breathe.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • At least some of the hunters from the first game (see Tear Jerker).
    • Cash, after watching his family get butchered. He's not a very nice guy, but even he was pissed at that.
    • Piggsy. Implied to be mentally retarded, his mind was only further broken after "starring" in several of Starkweather's films.
  • Moral Event Horizon: It wouldn't be far off to say that Starkweather was past this point before he stole Cash away from his death to become his new "star". But what really does it for the player, as well as Cash himself, is when he had Cash's family butchered on film after all the effort he went through to rescue them.
  • Narm:
    • The second game's use of Your Head A-Splode reaches ridiculous levels, and about half of the game's weapons have at least one execution resulting in most of the hunter's head vanishing. Even a flashlight will tear a head apart.
    • Some of the Pervs lines can come more across as hilarious than disturbing, given that one of them can come across as a Cloud Cuckoolander who thinks that Daniel Lamb is his lover instead of the Depraved Homosexual he was intended to be, and another's threat of "The Slimy Walrus is going to lick you up and down" can be extremely hilarious due to it being an unintentional case of Crosses the Line Twice.
    • The fact that the Innocentz consist out of pedophiles & satanists who are all addicted to drugs can come across as this, given that it can feel that the developers were trying too hard to be edgy.
    • Piggsy is a very terrifying character when he's not saying anything or while he's squealing in pure animalistic fury. However, whenever he actually does talk, he loses a lot of his menace. His voice sounds goofy and his Hulk Speak just makes him out to be a dimwit rather than a raving psychopath who's lost all semblance of humanity.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: Both games had gathered mixed reviews, damning the gore but praising the atmosphere. Yet politicians bring this up as an example of a "murder simulator", and one murder incident led to a public outcry in Britain, which normally never censors a game, and shops there were hesitant to sell the game until it was proven the game wasn't to blame and the perpetrator never played itnote .
  • Paranoia Fuel: If you wear a headset while you're playing the original title, any sound that you make into it can induce noise in-game. This literally allows you to lure hunters to kill them, but the inverse is also true: If you're hiding in the shadows, you must physically remain quiet.
  • Rated M for Money: "Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs." These are the content descriptors for the second game. The first game only had the first three. The second even had an AO rating note  in the US!
  • Scrappy Weapon: The shotgun with the tactical light attachment. While it has the same effect as the standard counterpart, the said attachment tends to give away players that are hiding in the shadows.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: This was one the most controversial games of its time, featuring a lot brutal violence and disturbing content. However, younger gamers are unlikely to see that thanks to games made in the preceding years boasting even worse-looking violence with better graphics and just as much, if not more, edginess.
  • Signature Scene: While the game is renouned for its use of graphic violence to kill enemies, Piggsy's boss fight stands out as one of the most memorable scenes in the game. As Cash must navigate through the level and avoid Piggsy while scavenging weapons to kill him before he finds you first.
  • Spiritual Licensee: Some have described Manhunt 2 as a video game adaptation of Fight Club.
  • Squick: Big time. Especially in the second game. There's a reason it got the Adults Only Rating.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • Cash watching the videotape of his family being killed by the Innocentz, followed by him knocking over the TV and Starkweather taunting him about it. For a ruthless killer who never displays emotion and even shows irritation towards his family when he rescues them, it's really sad to see him of all people break down like he did.
    • Some of the Hunters' dialogue surprisingly falls under this. A member of the Skinz and the Smileys are revealed through dialogue to have been abused by their parents. Specifically, the Skinz member had a physically abusive father that he felt the need to impress, and the Smileys member's mother beat him for things as minor as losing his shoes. Then there's a Hood who has a family and will tell you as such to try and dissuade you from killing them. Unfortunately, you had to kill them in order to survive the bloodbath, though. And special mention goes to Barry, a Smiley who abused his wife, eventually murdering her and assuming her identity out of grief.
    • Manhunt 2 also features this, such as Daniel's Heroic BSoD when he realizes that Leo killed his wife. Even the canon ending also counts as well.
  • That One Level: Three words: Divided. They. Fall. First you have to kill a few Wardogs, then you're free to head into the apartment complex and save your game. But do you think it's all uphill from there? It's not. You have to hack and shoot your way through numerous Wardogs on the apartment's many floors, then when you reach the top, Ramirez will flee and call for backup, at which point you have about two minutes to kill him before he doesnote . And killing him — assuming you can't find him from the upper level and snipe him — entails going all the way back down, killing another batch of Wardogs, then killing his bodyguards and sneaking up behind him and shooting him in the back of the head (you can't execute him, because he'll just shove you off of him if you try). Oh, yeah, and that save point you get once you're in the apartment? That's the only other one you get. So if you die — and there's a good chance you will — you have to redo that whole process all over again. Have fun.
    • Not far off in regards to Divided They Fall is the level Wrong Side of the Tracks, which has you enter a subway station occupied by police searching for you. Entering the first hallway on your left has you walk right into the firing line of an Uzi wielding cop, who can quickly shred your health if you don't expect him and get a headshot in time. Moving on has you enter the train tracks, where you're introduced to a cutscene of the Swat Team rushing from the far end of the track ahead, and directly behind you from where you came from. Your only option is to run like hell and hide before you get caught in the pincer attack. Unfortunately, unless you saved the crowbar from the level before, you won't have a reliable way to quietly execute the SWAT, so trying to shoot one will instantly incur the wrath of the rest of the team, who can and ''will' cut you down in seconds. To make matters worse, most of them come with flashlights on their shotguns, so hiding will eventually become futile once they're checking the shadows for you. Finally, there's another few squads worth of SWAT dead ahead who can't be ran past without a fight, so avoiding the ones that tried to ambush you and engaging the other squads will very likely end up with the squad you ran past rushing back in to shoot you in the back while you try to outgun the ones hold up.
    • Border Patrol and Key Personnel takes a step further regardless of which difficulty you're playing. The first one involves you trying to infiltrate into Starkweather's estate while you're out in the open trying to deal with the Cerberus. Aside from having only one save point just like Divided They Fall, there's no painkillers in fixed locations (they only spawn if you kill one of the mooks if your health is low enough). Upon reaching the snipers' nests and take them out, you'll proceed to Key Personnel where things get worse down there. The only good news is that there's an additional save point in either the main entrance or the second basement but you'll have to rely on camping or die trying. Once you slaughtered all remaining hunters and the Cerberus leader, you're off to take out Piggsy and Starkweather themselves in the last level, Deliverance.
  • They Censored It, Now It Sucks:
    • The heavy filtering added to the executions in the second game, mainly on the Wii. Is there an equivalent of Executive Meddling for censorship?
    • According to a YouTube user, Manhunt 2 had blurred out executions in the game. And gamers were not impressed with this (but hey, they got it uncut for the PC). And with hacking, even consoles have the uncut versions- there's ISOs floating around for Wii and PSP that have the blur turned off, and on PS2 it can be disabled with a GameShark/Action Replay code.
  • Uncanny Valley: The Babyfaces from the Innocentz gang all wear creepy porcelain doll masks.

The 2019 Irish film:

  • Angst? What Angst?: Retroactively stemming from The Reveal. Michelle, Jono and Barry don't seem to show any awkwardness at attending a party for a child they know is born out of adultery, or that they've helped keep this secret. You could hand wave it by saying Jono and Barry (possibly Adam too) didn't know Sean was Tommy's child, just that he and Sarah got together.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal: The dirty secret between Tommy and Sarah is easy to telegraph, given that other characters repeatedly slut shame Sarah. Sure enough, Sean is Tommy's on. Having that as the killer's motivation was however quite unexpected.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: All the characters are screwed up in some way, and the protagonist is a massive tool (see below), so it can be hard to care if they live or die. Sarah is probably the most likable of the lot and even she cheated on her husband and raised the resulting child as his.
  • Designated Hero: Tommy is a massive dick to everyone, spends a good portion of his screentime glaring or giving everyone a Kubrick Stare, and slept with his best friend's wife. The fact that he claims to be suffering from depression makes him a little more sympathetic, but still you're not sad to see him go.
  • Growing the Beard: Many commentors noted how this happened between The Lads and this - with improved production values and direction, as well as a more challenging story.
  • Nausea Fuel:
    • Michelle falls out of a tree and breaks her leg - treating the viewer to a Squicky sight of her bone sticking out.
    • The murder of the woman in the opening is quite graphic as well.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Helena McInerney as the mother of Eddie in the prologue - who still goes Mama Bear on him and tells him to get to safety.
    • Jono barely has any screen time, but Ian Adams is definitely having a good time being a shameless dick that he makes an impression.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • We're meant to see Adam as a Dirty Coward for leaving Michelle to die and hitting Sarah during their argument. A combination of James McClean's performance and Adam displaying legitimate Friendship Moments otherwise in the film - he comforts Michelle when Jono is found dead, defends her when Tommy snaps at her, and at the start is at least trying to be a supportive friend to Tommy - makes him seem less like the Asshole Victim than probably intended. Thankfully he gets a Dying Moment of Awesome.
    • Michelle is meant to be seen as The Load for that one moment where she stops walking and says she needs a drink. Admittedly a silly demand, but a perfectly reasonable reaction considering the circumstances. Tommy's response is to yell and manhandle her.
    • Some fans feel this about Eddie, given his extremely sympathetic backstory - having recovered from trauma that would make anyone snap...only to discover his wife and best friend had an affair and the boy he'd been raising as his son for years wasn't even his. The fact that none of the friends express sympathy or regret for keeping the secret adds to it.
  • The Woobie: Sarah wakes up separated from her husband and son, and has to see her friends slaughtered in front of her - with no idea if the former two are safe or even alive at all. The fact that she committed adultery and tried to raise Sean as Eddie's child makes her a little less sympathetic but she still seems to suffer the most out of all the characters.

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