Directed by: Adam Egypt Mortimer
Starring: Ronen Rubinstein, Grace Phipps, Spencer Breslin, Sierra McCormick, Maestro Harrell, Lexi Atkins
After finally standing up to a bully at school, goth teen Lincoln Taggert is sent to the Mind's Eye Academy, an out-of-bounds school for wayward kids, where the teens sent there are taught a lot of mystic mumbo jumbo and undertake some farmyard chores. Unfortunately for Lincoln the bullying continues, now in the form of Willie and his two cronies. Distraught, Lincoln hides in the basement, wishing death upon his tormentors. However unbeknownst to him, a dreadful tragedy occurred in that basement years before, and his impassioned plea for bloody vengeance is answered by a malevolent spirit with her own murderous agenda...
Some Kind of Hate is going to ruffle some feathers, which is a good thing, in my opinion. The film deals largely with bullying and how if affects not only the victims but also their tormentors, and provides a huge amount of bloody catharsis for any viewer who's been part of that situation. Not only that, but the film confronts head on the subject of self-mutilation as a stress relief.
Lincoln Taggert has the audience's sympathies from the start. He has issues, but he just wants to be left alone to deal with them. Instead this is perceived as a weakness by his peers who torment him for being a bit different. It must be awful to be the only goth/emo kid at school. The bullying scene at the beginning is almost as bad as any of the gory deaths that occur later not so much for what happens but what doesn't happen. There is a huge crowd of people watching Lincoln being humiliated, one kid even filming it on his phone to upload onto social media later.
So, for fighting back for once in his life, Lincoln is sent to the Mind's Eye Academy, a small outward bounds place in the desert. Although his phone is confiscated, Life in the academy seems like it could be ok. Lincoln doesn't mind the manual work and he even makes friends with another new "inmate", Isaac (sent there for flooding his school's computer servers with porn), and makes even better friends with bad girl Kaitlyn.
Things would have been bearable, if it wasn't for the presence of Willie, the current top dog, who becomes Lincoln's new bully, pushing him to see if he'll go psychotic again. Lincoln tries his best to avoid confrontation but Willie only sees that as a weakness, which he feeds off.
When an emotionally distraught Lincoln cowers in the basement and wishes aloud how he wants Willie and his friends dead, a ghostly presence is awoken: Moira, a girl who died in suspicious circumstances a few years earlier, returns in spirit form and embarks on a bloody killing spree.
Some Kind of Hate has plenty of claret to go round. Moira's murder weapon of choice is the straight-razor she used to use to cut herself when alive, and she uses it with gusto. There's also a nifty motif where any damage inflicted upon herself is mirrored on her victim. This is a great idea especially for one particularly obnoxious person with strong ties to what happened to Moira.
I've read some criticism levelled at the Mind's Eye Academy, in that it seems to be just a couple of buildings and hardly any adults. Having read a number of accounts of these places (such as this article on Cracked.com), The MEA seems to be a reasonably realistic representation (hopefully except for the murders etc).
The film has two scenes which I suspect will be considered controversial. The first is when a character breaks down and confesses about the horrible things they did as a bully and the terrible consequences they're now having to live with. The reason this might be considered controversial is that the character in question is one of the film's sympathetic characters who we're meant to be rooting for. The second is when two characters indulge in a cutting session together, which is portrayed as a sensual, near-orgasmic experience for them both.
Some Kind of Hate has a distant relationship to adulthood. All of the adults in the film are portrayed in adark light, either through their culpability to what happened to Moira in the past, or just through their being completely absent. Even though his personal experiences have made him grow up a bit faster, Lincoln is still a teen and still has tumultuous teen thoughts, as can be seen when he plays some death metal to Kaitlyn, and talks about how it helps sooth his darker emotions.
Some Kind of Hate manages to nail the angry teen vibe and gives a vivid portrayal of bullying and abuse. The film's epilogue suggests we haven't seen the last of Moira, and I'm pretty sure there are plenty of bullies out their for her to despatch.
8 out of 10 (MikeOutWest)
Some Kind of Hate is part of the new online collection by Frightfest Presents, and will be available from Monday 19th October 2015.