29th Aug2015

Frightfest 2015: ‘Some Kind of Hate’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Grace Phipps, Spencer Breslin, Lexi Atkins, Sierra McCormick, Ronen Rubinstein, Brando Eaton, Andrew Bryniarski, Noah Segan, Michael Polish, Maestro Harrell, Justin Prentice, Audrey Ellis Fox, Jasper Polish, Josh Ethier | Written by Adam Egypt Mortimer, Brian DeLeeuw | Directed by Adam Egypt Mortimer

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If there’s one thing I will take away from this years Frightfest it’s that this was the year that saw the tropes of the slasher movie return to the horror genre with a vengeance. From the strong final girl, to insane, and sometimes supernatural, killers and the idea that the horror movie is as metal as Iron Maiden… so gloriously metal… And nowhere are those three more prevalent than in Some Kind of Hate.

Reminscent of Trick or Treat, the 1986 heavy metal horror starring Marc Price; and Savaged, the supernatural revenge thriller that played Frightfest Glasgow in 2014, Some Kind of Hate sees tightly wound Lincoln – a favourite target for the local high school bullies – who one day he violently snaps and consequently is sent to the Mind’s Eye Academy, a remote desert reformatory. But the harassment doesn’t stop and in despair he accidentally summons the kindred spirit of Moira, a girl tormented to suicide in the same establishment, who is more than happy to take vengeance on his persecutors.

Each year there seems to be more and more genre films made in homage to the horror movies of the 80s. Maybe its because the kids of the that era, like myself, are at the right age to be producing and directing the kinds of films they grew up on; or maybe its because horror, like any genre, is cyclical. Whatever the reason there are just some films that, no matter how hard you try, you cannot help but compare to those that have come before it, whether the influences are intentional or not.

Some Kind of Hate is one of those films…

Besides being thematically similar to Trick or Treat, with the same lonely protagonist unleashing terror on his bullies, I also spotted shades of the “new kids in town” horrors of the early 80s like Sean S. Cunningham’s The New Kids and the lesser known Bullies. Hell, even the villain of the piece, the terrifying teen Moira, seems influenced by those that have come before – in particular Stephen King’s Carrie and A Nightmare on Elm Street‘s Freddy Krueger.

Yet, despite seemingly being influenced by a number of movies, Some Kind of Hate never actually feels like its trading on those films. Instead it feels like more of a love letter to 80s horror cinema, without ever becoming a pastiche of those films it looks to pay homage to. Writer/director Adam Egypt Mortimer, who cut his teeth directing music videos (including two for one of my all-time favourite bands, Against Me!), has crafted a debut feature that uses all his past experiences in the best way possible. Resulting in a film that is a visually arresting mix of imagery and music, including a beautiful sequence in which Moira struts over dead bodies to a classical piece by Bach and the final fight between hero and villain, which sees Lincoln finally confronting Moira in THE most rock ‘n’ roll way possible!

I could go on and tell you about how good Mortimer’s cast are – especially Sierra McCormick and Ronen Rubinstein, as Moira and Lincoln respectively. Or just how brilliant Josh Ethier’s editing is (you may remember Josh from his turn in front of the camera in Almost Human). Or how fantastic the soundtrack is. Instead I will just say this: As someone who spent his youth renting as many 80s horror films as he could, adoring the work of directors like Wes Craven, John Carpenter, Stuart Gordon, Brian Yuzna, Chuck Russell and Fred Dekker, I love Some Kind of Hate. It speaks to me in the same way the films of those directors did.

Honestly, it’s not often that you can say you have fallen in love with a film, and I say that as someone who reviews hundreds of movies a year, but I really have fallen in love with Some Kind of Hate. If ever I traded in writing about movies for making them, then this is the kind of (pun intended) movie I would hope to create.

***** 5/5

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