Director: Adam Egypt Mortimer
Cast: Ronen Rubinstein, Seirra McCormick, Grace Phipps
Watch Some Kind of Hate online in the UK: Amazon Prime / iTunes / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / TalkTalk TV / Sky Store / Rakuten TV / Google Play
Bullying isn’t nice. Today, it has the potential to become even less so, thanks to social media and smartphones, which means that tormenting has moved from the playground between the hours of 8am and 3pm to the digital realm, which encompasses almost every other aspect of our lives. Now is the perfect time, then, for a horror film to explore such a serious issue with depth and nuance. Some Kind of Hate is, unfortunately, not that film.
Adam Egypt Mortimer’s horror certainly lives up to its title. It follows Lincoln (Rubenstein), a teen who is the subject of abuse from his schoolmates – until he snaps and attacks back. His punishment? A stint at Mind’s Eye academy, a remote camp where troubled teens are encouraged to find their way back to the straight and narrow. Once again, though, he’s bullied until he breaks. Except this time, when he finds himself wishing his attackers were dead, a ghost appears and starts making it happen.
Her method of murder is Mortimer’s secret weapon: a fellow victim, she wields a razor, cutting herself to cause the same wounds to appear on others. It’s a genuinely horrific sight, halfway between Freddy Krueger and Carrie. But if those classics had wit, humour or empathy to back up their original take on gore, Some Kind of Hate has, well, hate.
Sierra McCormick is disturbingly sadistic as the vengeful wraith – a figure whose tragic back-story has the potential to lift the lid on a discussion of bullying and how to react to it. Ronen Rubinstein is also suitably brooding as the sulky, isolated teen. But there’s never anything more to them than that; the film trades in shallow depictions of stock types that arguably have all the understanding of the thugs doing the bullying. The introduction of another student at the academy (Grace Phipps) suggests that some subtlety might be on the cards, but a dubious confrontation between her and Moira throws any chance of that out the window – while it soon becomes apparent that anyone, not just those morally responsible, are pretty much fair game. The result is a nasty, grisly experience – intentionally so – that sadly sacrifices some kind of sensitivity or engagement for some kind of cruel violence. It’s some kind of something, that’s for sure.
Some Kind of Hate is available to watch online on Amazon Prime Video as part of a £5.99 monthly subscription.
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