8:00am PT by Austin Siegemund-Broka
'Some Kind of Hate' Teaser Introduces "Feminist Slasher" Character (Exclusive)
"I think of this as kind of a feminist slasher movie," says Adam Egypt Mortimer of his directorial debut, Some Kind of Hate, which he co-wrote. The film will premiere at the Stanley Film Festival in May.
The film centers on a teenage boy (Ronen Rubinstein) tormented by his schoolmates who resurrects Moira (Sierra McCormick), a girl who was bullied to the point of suicide. Both with his sympathy and, eventually, without it, Moira wreaks slasher-style vengeance on their persecutors.
Mortimer insists on one point: Moira isn't a ghost but a physical presence like Jason Voorhees or Freddy Krueger. "I think people have the tendency to call her a ghost because she's a girl and not a 7-foot-tall guy," he says.
What sets Moira apart from other slasher characters isn't just gender; it's also that she speaks. "Our slasher has an intense emotional life. It's like, at her core, she’s a 17-year-old girl whose emotions just spiraled completely," says Mortimer. "She gets to talk about the reasons for her desire for revenge. It’s really chilling to see this blood-soaked girl with this razor blade shrieking at people about why she's killing them."
Mortimer says he and co-writer Brian DeLeeuw decided their film should be socially relevant in the vein of their favorite slashers, like the Clive Barker adaptation Candyman with its undertones of gentrification and slavery. When they started developing the Some Kind of Hate script in 2012, they felt bullying had become the center of a national conversation. "What we found very quickly is, it was a great springboard for violence and revenge and the horrible stuff that people do to each other, even before you introduce a slasher into the movie," says Mortimer.
Their other main inspiration was horror wunderkinds Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett's (You're Next, The Guest) 2010 feature A Horrible Way to Die. "I was like, 'Oh, I'm seeing something where I recognize everything I want to do,' " says Mortimer. "It was a horror movie, but it was also a drama with heavy emotion and real statements about humanity ... but also an awesome f—ing horror movie."
Wingard's film influenced them to write and shoot Some Kind on the low budget of $200,000, and it changed their approach to the story. "I said, 'What would a literary slasher film be like?' " says Mortimer.
The teaser includes flashes of Mortimer's favorite scenes, like one in which Moira faces off with Kaitlin (Grace Phipps), a cheerleader with her own issues. "It's a complete reversal of the sort of scene you would expect between the slasher and the young, beautiful girl that’s trying to survive," says Mortimer. In another scene, it's Moira against her original tormentor. "It’s horrific," says Mortimer. "The movie's really about, what if your past came back for you and was a fully formed, physical thing that was going to kill you?"
The Hollywood Reporter exclusively debuts the teaser for the film, which premieres at the Stanley Film Festival on May 2. The director and his wife, Amanda Mortimer, produced with Gabriela Revilla Lugo of Revek and Dallas Sonnier and Jack Heller of Caliber.