Tuesday, February 2, 2016

#1,996. Some Kind of Hate (2015)

Directed By: Adam Egypt Mortimer

Starring: Grace Phipps, Spencer Breslin, Andrew Bryniarski

Awards: "For her role in this film, Sierra McCormick was nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the 2015 Fright Meter Awards"

Trivia: This movie was filmed on location at an actual summer camp

Some Kind of Hate is a bold horror film. It’s a bizarre, twisted tale about bullying that offers moments of extreme gore, and is quite unique in that it combines elements of the supernatural with a high-powered, slasher-style revenge story. I only wish I could get behind it 100%, but amidst all the insanity are a few problems that continue to gnaw at me even as I write this. As daring as Some Kind of Hate is, I'd love to overlook these issues and tell you it’s a movie you simply have to see. But I can’t, and to be honest, it kinda sucks that I can’t.

After striking back at an aggressive school bully, Lincoln (Ronen Rubinstein), a normally shy, introverted teenager, is sent to Mind’s Eye Academy, a new age reform school situated in the middle of the desert. At first, things seem to go well for the troubled teen; he becomes fast friends with his roommate, Isaac (Spencer Breslin), and catches the eye of Kaitlin (Grace Phipps), a former cheerleader with a few issues of her own. Unfortunately, there are also bullies at Mind’s Eye, including Willie (Maestro Harrell), who, along with a few of his cohorts, makes Lincoln’s life a living hell. Angry and confused, Lincoln hides in the basement of an abandoned building and wishes that Willie and his accomplices were dead. In doing so, he inadvertently summons the spirit of Moira (Sierra McCormick), a girl who, several years earlier, was herself victimized by bullies, so much so that (according to reports) she took her own life. Armed with a razor blade, Moira tracks down those who have been bothering Lincoln and, one by one, makes them pay with their lives. But will she take her mission of vengeance too far?

Some Kind of Hate does have a lot going for it. The first 30 minutes of the movie, which deal with Lincoln’s difficult home life (his father, played by Andrew Bryniarski, shouts when he gets drunk) as well as the confrontation that landed him in Mind’s Eye Academy, are intense, and their dark tone permeates throughout the film. I was also impressed with some of the performances, especially Sierra McCormick as the spiteful Moira and Grace Phipps as the sexy girl with a terrible secret in her past (both actresses are former Disney stars, having appeared in shows and original movies on the Disney Channel for years). In addition, Some Kind of Hate is convincingly gruesome, with occasional scenes of shocking gore; and I liked how director Adam Egypt Mortimer took a unique approach to the story’s supernatural elements (let’s just say Moira is not your average vengeful spirit).

Alas, one of the problems I had with Some Kind of Hate is that Moira, once summoned, appears far too frequently (particularly in the final act), and as a result, she becomes less frightening with each passing scene. Even more upsetting is the fact we’re never quite sure what happened to Moira while she was alive, and because of this we don't know if she was a victim (as she claims to be) or if she got what she deserved (most who remember Moira don't speak kindly of her). Aside from a brief, shadowy scene at the outset, we have no clue what really went down, or why she was bullied, and without that information, we don’t know whether we should fear Moira or pity her (or both).

Ultimately, I'd recommend that you check out Some Kind of Hate (there's enough here to make it worth your while). But I do feel it had the potential to be a great movie, and settled for being good.

And that’s a damn shame.

1 comment:

James Robert Smith said...

Hey. From me, "good" is high praise.