'Some Kind of Hate': Film Review
A bullied teen gets help from a vengeful spirit in Adam Egypt Mortimer's horror film.
Bullied teenagers are a time-honored staple in horror movies, with Carrie perhaps being the gold standard of the genre. The latest example is Adam Egypt Mortimer's film about a troubled youth who gets uninvited help against his tormentors from the ghost of a teenage girl who was driven to suicide under similar circumstances. To paraphrase a famous line from an old political debate--I've seen Carrie, I love Carrie, and Some Kind of Hate is no Carrie.
The film's protagonist is the heavy metal-loving but still sensitive and soulful Lincoln (Ronen Rubenstein, brooding convincingly), who seems to invite abuse from his fellow schoolmates by his presence alone. When he turns the tables on an attacker by stabbing him in the eye with a fork, Lincoln is sent to the ominously named "Mind's Eye Academy," a school for wayward teens located in the desert, run by the cult leaderish Jack (Michael Polish, director of such films as Twin Falls Idaho and the recent 90 Minutes in Heaven).
Despite such holistic violence-curbing methods of cell phone bans and yoga routines in the hot sun, the school doesn't exactly prove a haven for Lincoln, although he tries to stay out of trouble. He soon finds himself once again assuming the role of victim, this time to several heavily muscled, overly macho male students.
When, at breaking point, Lincoln retreats into isolation and screams that he wishes his abusers dead, the ghost of Moira (Sierra McCormick) is mysteriously summoned. Eager to lend a hand, the wrathful spirit starts dispatching the bullies one by one, making the deaths look like suicides. Her masochistic homicidal method is the film's most original aspect, with every wound she inflicts on herself suffered by her chosen victim as well.
This all leads to one of the kinkier scenes in recent memory, with Moira engaging in a mutual body-slashing session with Kaitlin (Grace Phipps), the hot girl with whom Lincoln has begun a torrid romance.
While Some Kind of Hate flirts with serious themes through its violence-begets-violence message, it's mostly luridly violent, slasher movie trash. Lacking any semblance of narrative credibility—you'd think someone would investigate a wave of gruesome student deaths—and mainly relying on its mediocre heavy metal soundtrack to create an ominous atmosphere, it fails to conjure up the desired scares. It does, however, provide plenty of the requisite gore and titillation for its young target audience.
Production: Caliber Media, Destroy All Entertainment, Revek Entertainment
Cast: Ronen Rubinstein, Grace Phipps, Maestro Harrell, Michael Polish, Spencer Breslin, Lexi Atkins, Sierra McCormick, Noah Segan, Andrew Bryniarski
Director: Adam Egypt Mortimer
Screenwriters: Brian Deleeuw, Adam Egypt Mortimer
Producers: Amanda Mortimer, Adam Egypt Mortimer, Gabriela Revilla Lugo
Executive producers: Brian Deleeuw, Daniel Revilla, Noah Segan, Cynthia Wee
Director of photography: Benji Bakshi
Production designer: Anthony Eikner
Editor: Josh Ethiere
Costume designer: Eb Brooks
Composer: Robert Allaire
Not rated, 83 min.