Cast: Grace Phipps, Spencer Breslin, Lexi Atkins, Sierra McCormick, Ronen Rubinstein.
Released: Aug 2015
Reviewed by: Stu Greenfield
Teen horror has taken a back seat of late. In the 90’s teen horror was the name of the game with Scream opening the flood gates for a myriad of films such as I Know What You Did Last Summer, Urban Legend and not forgetting the Scream sequels. FrightFest will see Adam Egypt Mortimer’s writing debut take on the teen horror genre and mix it up with a bit of supernatural slasher action.
Some Kind of Hate focuses on Isaac (Spencer Breslin). He is a schoolboy who is bullied by his peers for being different. He is typically ‘emo’ and when he finally fights back against his bullies he gets sent to a reform school in the middle of nowhere. Whilst there he starts to get bullied once again and accidentally summons the spirit of Moira (Sierra McCormick). Moira was a previous resident of the camp who also suffered at the hands of bullies. She then begins acting revenge on those that have harmed both her and Isaac in a gory revenge plot that begins to unveil secrets of the camp.
Some Kind of Hate deals with a number of serious issues that affect teens the world over. The topics of bullying, suicide, self-harm and mental health are all ones that are often prominent within youth culture. Unfortunately for Some Kind of Hate, the film does not approach these topics in any way that is sympathetic or enlightening. The script surrounding these issues is stereotypical and clichéd with little insight into the reality of the issues.
The plot itself had potential; however it is full of holes. The reason for Isaac going to the reform school is weak with little back story. The school itself is set in the middle of nowhere in what appears to be a former farm with 3 staff to run the entire place. Further to this, Isaac has not been in the new school for more than five minutes before he is in bed with the prettiest girl there, Kaitlin (Phipps), who is predictably troubled. One small saving grace about Kaitlin is that she isn’t the typical victim character you may assume she is. Although these points may not be directly related to the main storyline, they are plot holes that make the whole film appear shallow. Aside from these, there is also a barely explored sub plot regarding the staff of the school and covering up certain things. This plot is glossed over during the film with no real conclusion or closure.
One fundamental downside to Some Kind of Hate is that it isn’t scary. There are times when Moira enacts her revenge by inflicting gory injuries on her victims but other than being bloody they do not elicit fear. McCormick’s portrayal of the troubled spirit Moira is in certain respects comical. This bitter, angry and scorned young woman comes across instead as a spoiled and whiny brat. McCormick may have been trying to add some mania into the character but this does not translate well to the screen.
Some Kind of Hate ends up being Some Kind of Awful. There are few scares, a weak and under developed plot with glimpses into subplots that are never explored. With performances that fall short of the required depth to make the characters believable or relatable Some Kind of Hate may be one of the forgettable films from FrightFest.