Drive-in Dive in: Some Kind of Hate

Posted: August 21, 2015 in 2015 Fantasy FilmFest, Horror, Reviews
Tags: , , , ,

Some Kind of HateDrive-in credo is never, “Don’t get mad, get even.” Drive-in credo is always, “Get mad, then get even.”

Revenge is a dish best served with boiling hot blood in your basic exploitation movie, and Some Kind of Hate gets the recipe exactly right. The special ingredient here is the outsourcing of the violence to a malevolent spirit as high school bullies get their comeuppance from the evil incarnation of a victim who died at the hands of her tormentors.

Looking like the full-sized sister of Chucky from the Child’s Play movies, Moira (Sierra McCormick) sports a razor blade necklace and a seriously poor attitude. You’re only a swirly away from being her BFF if you say aloud the magic words about your enemies: “I wish they were dead.” In a wonderfully ironic twist, the bullies suffer whatever wounds she inflicts on herself, most notably when she uses the ever-present razor blades to inscribe messages on her arms.

Thanks to McCormick’s superior performance, Some Kind of Hate boasts the crucial element of a successful horror franchise: a nasty villain capable of dealing imaginative deaths. That said, director Adam Egypt Mortimer and co-screenwriter Brian DeLeeuw leave ample room for improvement in any follow-ups to their maiden effort. The movie looks threadbare, with too much of the mise-en-scène a seeming afterthought. Certainly, low budget horror flicks are not expected to look like a Wes Anderson film, but not the entire visual vacuum in Some Kind of Hate is attributable to a lack of funds.

First and foremost of the shortcomings is the setting for most of the action, a mash-up boot camp/reform school facility in the brushland of Southern California that looks like nothing more than a summer camp or low-rent retreat spot taken over for a weekend of filming. Our protagonist, Lincoln Taggert (Ronen Rubinstein) is unfairly dumped there after stabbing a bully in the eye with a fork at his old high school, which points out the flaw with Lincoln as victim. Rubenstein is a fairly well-built young man with a brooding intensity, and it appears that he could go full Billy Jack on your ass at any moment. It’s not clear that he would need to rely on Moira to deliver the pain, although it’s evident that she does enjoy the attention and the opportunity.

Lincoln also lands the hottest girl at this coed reform facility when the self-flagellating cheerleader Caitlin (Grace Phipps) takes an interest in him, which also severely lessens the empathy we have for the young man. Phipps gets a nice scene with Moira when she invokes the spirit to serve her penance for previous misdeeds through remote control cutting. Moira does find time in her busy schedule to go after those responsible for her own demise as well although we never get her full backstory, and the film suffers somewhat from this narrative lapse.

Still, Some Kind of Hate is an edgy 82-minute exercise in basic drive-in mayhem. The pacing is good, the acting is better-than-average, the story suffices, and the villain is excellent.

Bon appétit!

  1. […] to Meet Mr. Karma, “The pacing is good, the acting is better-than-average, the story suffices, and the villain is […]

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