Some Kind Of Hate


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Some Kind Of Hate
"The character of Moira is woefully underwritten, wasting a lot of interesting potential, but McCormick gives her humanity, showing us the pain we need to see to understand her."

The victimised loner who finally turns the tables on the tormentors is an old trope in horror, dating back to the likes of Carrie, Slaughter High and, more recently, All The Boys Love Mandy Lane. Arguably, horror has created one of the few spaces where we can talk about this phenomenon outside of the condensed dramatics of the school shooting genre. It's one of the few spaces in which we acknowledge the level of anger bullying victims can feel, together with an understanding that "just ignore them" doesn't work and that, in fact, acts of precipitous violence are one of the few genuinely effective ways for a victim to change their fortunes. The trick is controlling the anger, keeping it from going too far; and dealing with the consequences.

Ronen Rubinstein is Lincoln, a thoughtful, well intentioned emo kid who just wants a quiet life but who ultimately snaps after years of abuse. Afterwards he's sent to a camp out in the desert where, in the company of other troubled youths, he is supposed to learn the error of his ways. This proves tricky because nobody really makes a good case for what he did being unreasonable, and he's generally treated as if he acted with no provocation. What's more, a lot of the young people in the camp are there because they are bullies, so the process soon stars over again.

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Out in the dirt and the scrub, somebody is crying, calling for help. This is Moira (Sierra McCormick), a victim herself. She's been dead for a long time but Lincoln's anger revives her; she asks for his permission to become his protector. The violence that ensues is bloodier than he could ever have imagined.

There are a lot of strong ideas here. Issues of responsibility and self control are complicated by the film's portrait of a society in which there is no meaningful adult authority - indeed, behind their cheery pep talks and prayers, the camp organisers have a few dark secrets of their own. At ties the film resembles a Western, its young characters searching for moral direction on a wild frontier. There are also standard teen flick elements, however, such as Lincoln's unexpected acquisition of a cheerleader girlfriend (Grace Phipps) and resulting confrontations.

Rubinstein makes a likeable lead despite his character's inconsistencies. Phipps does well with a character who has a little more depth than is immediately apparent. It's McCormick, however, who stands out. The character of Moira is woefully underwritten, wasting a lot of interesting potential, but McCormick gives her humanity, showing us the pain we need to see to understand her - and the real sense of rejection when Lincoln decides that her services are no longer needed. He, after all, has friends, a girlfriend and some kind of future; by contrast, the degree of her loss is overwhelming, so it's natural for the viewer's sympathies to shift. Unfortunately this seems to have been overlooked by Mortimer and DeLeeuw, which leaves the film feeling distinctly unbalanced towards the end.

Potential viewers should be aware that, in keeping with some of its themes, there are numerous scenes of self-harm in this film. The script and actors effectively connect with the reason many teenagers cut themselves, and its cathartic effect, but the degree of power it is seen to give them, together with the high value herein placed on self-sacrifice, is a little worrying - this is, after all, a practice commonly adopted through imitation. Anybody tempted should be aware that there are distinctly less risky ways to cause physical pain. Some Kind Of Hate revels in its gore, however, and in this regard it will please stalwart fans of the slasher genre. Its killings may not be as inventive as in some of its ilk, but it certainly makes its voice heard.

Reviewed on: 19 Oct 2015
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A bullied boy summons the spirit of a girl who killed herself after facing the same problem, and she sets out to wreak bloods vengeance on his tormentors.

Director: Adam Egypt Mortimer

Writer: Brian DeLeeuw, Adam Egypt Mortimer

Starring: Ronen Rubinstein, Grace Phipps, Spencer Breslin, Maestro Harrell, Sierra McCormick

Year: 2015

Runtime: 83 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


Frightfest 2015

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