It's a survival test - the kids get thrown into an outdoor "arena" where they have to survive until only one remains. The kids are encouraged to kill each other off to win more quickly. So it's as much about surviving the elements as it is killing each other - hence, "hunger".
The movie opened up with great reviews, praising the film - BUT
The movie in truth is very mediorce, and in essence a love story but with a survival of the fittest twist. Its like Running Man but without the superstar Hunters like Subzero or Dynamo, and does not involved placing criminals into that realm.
This is one movie that I know is banned from Australian viewing since it involves killing children. So the Aussies might have problems seeing this movie in the theatres.
Its not super bloody, but you know kids are getting whacked.
I found the story very light and shallow and there was only one very emotional moment throughout the whole movie, which really touched me.
Its not horrible, but its not worth an IMAX experience or big screen rush. You're better off reading the book which possibly is better than the film. I liked the movie but did not love it. Many things were not believable and the main character was lacking in substance.
I believe the movie is based off some children book from scholastic.
The movie is very very long 2hrs 20min in length - with most of the movie being very slow in the beginning.