Director – Adam Egypt Mortimer, Screenplay – Brian Deleeuw & Adam Egypt Mortimer, Producers – Jack Heller, Adam Egypt Mortimer, Amanda Mortimer, Gabriella Revilla Lugo & Dallas Sonnier, Photography – Benji Bakshi, Music – Robert Allaire, Visual Effects – Steady In Lab (Supervisor – Ezequiel Zanoni), Makeup Effects – Boneyard Effects, Production Design – Anthony Eikner. Production Company – Caliber Media/Destroy All Entertainment/Revek Entertainment.
Ronen Rubinstein (Lincoln Taggert), Grace Phipps (Kaitlin), Sierra McCormick (Moira Karp), Spencer Breslin (Isaac), Maestro Harrell (Willie), Brando Eaton (Derek), Lexi Atkins (Christine), Michael Polish (Iverson), Noah Segan (Krauss), Dave Reeves (Sheriff), Justin Prentice (Jim Greene), Andrew Bryniarski (Lincoln’s Father), Jasper Polish (Samantha)
Lincoln is a teenager bullied by everybody from his alcoholic father to the kids at school. He stands up against one kid beating him and stabs him in the face with a fork. For this, he is sent to Mind’s Eye Academy, a reform school for troubled teens at a remote location in the desert. However, Lincoln becomes bullied by another group of kids at the camp. Attraction does however spark with a girl Kaitlin. Lincoln’s bullies then start to be killed. A girl covered in blood appears to Lincoln and he works out that this is Mona Karp, a girl who was bullied into committing suicide at the camp several years earlier. Drawn by his hatred, she has returned from the dead. However, as Mona grows in strength, Lincoln realises that she is killing everybody in the school, bullies and innocents alike, and tries to stop her.
Some Kind of Hate was a debut feature for newcomer director Adam Egypt Mortimer. The film did the rounds of a number of fantastic film festivals and featured well in a number of horror sites’ Best of 2015 polls.
Some Kind of Hate reads as a variant on the teen underdog gains supernatural comeuppance fantasy that came out in the late 1970s/early 80s following the success of the original Carrie (1976). After Carrie, there were a number of copycat films featuring downtrodden teenagers latching onto some kind of superpower or supernatural force to exact their comeuppance. In particular, this reminds a good deal of Evilspeak (1981), which had Clint Howard as a bullied student in a military academy finding a Satanic tome that allowed him to exact nasty gore-filled deaths against his tormentors.
Adam Egypt Mortimer delivers quite a reasonable variant on the basics. The characters are all convincingly well drawn. Mortimer has a good cast including the rising names of the striking looking Grace Phipps and Spencer Breslin, a few years ago a kid performer, as well as supporting parts from known faces likes Noah Segan as a counsellor, Andrew Bryniarski as Ronen Rubinstein’s alcoholic biker father and Michael Polish who is underused as the head of the camp. Ronen Rubinstein makes for a strong loner lead – indeed, he does so well at creating a screen presence that you have difficulty believing he is naturally someone so downtrodden.
Mortimer draws you into the film. The tone is slow and quiet but the bullying scenes have some impact when they come. The trail of deaths builds to a considerable bloodbath by the end of the show. There is nothing that the film does that is too different from what has gone before, it just does it well.
One thing I did like was the fact that the film emphasises a responsibility for one’s desire for revenge and first has the hero wishing people were killed and then trying to turn this back and stopping things when it actually starts to happen. This makes considerable contrast to the average vigilante and revenge film where those that have wronged the hero are marked as victims and their slaughter is seen as entirely justified.
Adam Egypt Mortimer next went onto direct the imaginary companion horror film Daniel Isn’t Real (2019). He also produced the horror anthology Holidays (2016) and directed the New Year’s Day episode, as well as produced the sf film Sequence Break (2016).