“You ever had the feeling that your whole body’s angry?”
Ever since the post-Scream era ushered in a new wave of contemporary slashers, the subgenre has gradually felt more and more stagnant. And with the rise of VOD, a slew of indie slashers have struggled to be heard, with most falling short. Enter into the ring Adam Egypt Mortimer’s Some Kind of Hate, a ghostly slasher that’s entertaining enough, but never manages to delve into its characters deep enough to make its emotional horror feel effective.
The acting is there, but Some Kind of Hate stays on the surface too long without really exploring the people it’s putting in mortal danger. There’s a connection that’s missing between the characters and the emotion. The film is miles ahead of most indie horror films, don’t get me wrong, it just doesn’t feel as engaging as it should be.
Ronen Rubinstein stars as Lincoln, a bullied metal head whose home life is just as shitty as his social life at school. Finally pushed too far, Lincoln fights back (in a glorious freeze frame title card), only to earn himself a mandatory stay at a new age youth camp in the desert. He finds some solace in this group of troubled teens, but the situation quickly devolves and he finds himself the target for abuse once again.
Lincoln seeks refuge in an abandoned building near the camp, shaking with anger and wishing somehow he could get back at his new tormentor Willy (Maestro Harrell – Randy from The Wire!). There in the darkness, Lincoln’s wish is granted. A vindictive spirit named Moira (Sierra McCormick) answers Lincoln’s angry prayer, igniting a violent path of vengeance throughout the camp.
The concept of Moira is awesome. Her method of ghostly revenge is directly tied into powerful real world issues like self-mutilation and suicide. It works incredibly well on a visceral level, but lacks a real emotional punch due to a weak backstory for Moira and everyone else. Also, she talks a lot, which takes away from the visual impact of her cuts and the horror playing out on screen. What should be an empathetic character turns into an abrasive presence.
Lincoln is made out to be a tortured soul, but besides a glimpse at his abusive father, it’s never really clear why he’s such a prime target for bullying. At the camp, he also becomes the sexual interest for cheerleader turned bad girl Kaitlin (Grace Phipps), which doesn’t seem plausible. All of his issues stem from flimsy character roots, making it tough to really get invested in him like we should.
Amidst all the flashes of gore and rage, Some Kind of Hate fails to deliver on an emotional level. It’s an interesting film for sure, but without a connection to the characters, it’s tough for the horror and drama to make an impact.