Tell me a scary story, and I’ll listen very carefully. I love to be scared, hear the untold, and unfold the mysteries. When I tell people I love horror movies, I can see by their expression that they do not share my enthusiasm. A disgusted sneer emerges and I even get a look that says “you have very little interest in cinema.” Someone once told me old horror movies are better and nowadays, it’s only blood, sex and free-for-all gore. But I say you have to dig deeper to find the true gems. For example, one of my favourite horror movies of all time is Suspiria by Dario Argento. Pure genius.
A new movie to emerge under the sun of the horror genre is Some Kind of Hate, directed by Adam Egypt Mortimer. It is disheartening to see how most horror films produced these days lack originality, and this film is no exception to the trend.
I had high hopes for Some Kind of Hate. Fangoria has described the film as “the next contemporary horror classic,” but I must have missed something. You should not always trust the critics. I think there was a real desire to produce something new, but this film is far from a horror classic.
Some Kind of Hate tells the story of Lincoln, a reserved and gloomy young boy, who is bullied at school. After attacking one of his bullies, he is sent to a remote school for troubled teens. Moira, a young girl who was bullied, committed suicide at the camp a few years ago. Lincoln awakens the vengeful spirit of the girl who is determined to make her executioners suffer. The subject is very topical. The tragic stories in real life of teenagers being bullied continue to multiply, unfortunately. And I do not count those we do not hear about, away from media attention.
This is a brutal film that does not succeed much, starting with the characters. They are not necessarily endearing and they sorely lack depth. Consider the character Kaitlin, Lincoln’s love interest: a sexy girl whose sexuality is displayed in the rudest way in each scene where she appears. This kind of female character exasperates me to no end; there is nothing to say about her but everything to show. The actors also seemed to struggle to make a convincing performance, which is particularly the case of the young and vengeful Moira, whose performance is often exaggerated.
I felt like a stylistic exercise was attempted with some scenes. For example, when Moira is walking on classical music and cuts her throat – assured blood profusion. But these scenes add nothing to the film. I would add that the work on the music is done incorrectly, sometimes giving the impression of arriving at the wrong moment.
Some Kind of Hate tried to deliver a poignant yet vicious tale about intimidation and bullying. The attempt is not brilliant but still I can feel that there was a desire to say something loud. Some will be pleased, as with all things. But don’t just take my word for it – try to be amazed.
Some Kind of Hate opens September 18th.