In a world where bullying has evolved into a more technologically savvy beast, it’s important for movies to shine a light on the emotional damage that lingers long after school lunches have been flipped and ridicule has been doled out – but Some Kind Of Hate isn’t that movie. Adam Egypt Mortimer’s ultra-violent anti-bullying PSA certainly attacks the slasher genre from a new, unique angle, but an overwhelming theme of repressed hatred isn’t explored farther than a generic understanding that bullying is bad. The characters are all rather slight, and while Mortimer’s team delivers some wild bouts of skin-slitting gore, there’s just too much pulsating hate to understand what message this first-time director is trying to convey.
Some Kind Of Hate takes us to Mind’s Eye, an isolated refuge where wayward teens are sent to learn the ways of a more enlightened path. Lincoln Taggert (Ronen Rubinstein) is the camp’s newest recruit, after he lashes back against the bullies who tortured him mercilessly. Mind’s Eye is supposed to be a sanctuary for change, but Lincoln only finds another bully (Maestro Harrell) to fight against. Angrier than ever, Lincoln retreats to a dingy restricted basement one night where he curses the names of his peers, unknowingly unleashing a curse that spells death for all. Turns out Mind’s Eye holds a dark secret that refuses to stay buried, and her name is Moira (Sierra McCormick).
Bullying sucks. We don’t need another film to tell us that. We need a film to tell us WHY bullying is bad, delving deeper than generic locker-shoving and pointless hatred. Don’t tell me Grace Phipps’ character Kaitlin acts as our conduit to understanding, because her emotional outbursts are completely undone by later interactions with Moira. She presents herself a redemptive soul, but then foolishly unleashes a hate ten times worse than her own only minutes after explaining how she’s locked away her unfortunate past. It’s this kind of convenient flip-flopping that plagues Some Kind Of Hate, abandoning convictions in the name of forward progress.
Along with Kaitlin, these high-school-degenerates couldn’t be more effortlessly crafted, from the aggressive bully who tortures for no reason, to the misunderstood emo kid who gets called a “fag” for “doodling” in his notebook. There’s no doubt that Some Kind Of Hate brutally gives bullies what they have coming, but it’s a heartless revenge hinging on anger, anger, and more – you guessed it – seething, empty anger.
On the slasher front, Mortimer serves up a hearty helping of bloody, razor blade justice. His “villain,” the unresting soul of a young girl named Moira, dispatches of her victims by transferring self-inflicted cuts to an intended victim (only one victim at a time, it appears). So when she slits her throat, another helpless throat is magically opened with a burst of red, misty goo. You can’t discredit the death sequences Mortimer is able to orchestrate in Some Kind Of Hate, and while most are as heartless as gutting a fish, you’ll be treated to bloody slasher shenanigans unlike anything you’ve seen in such an oversaturated genre.
Youngster Sierra McCormick impresses as the undead Moira, embodying a victim’s mentality with much more depth than her bullying co-stars are able to achieve, but her performance is lost as the film transitions from being a spooky supernatural film to a desert slaughterhouse. Mortimer teases the first few appearances of Moira, but then turns her from a ghost who comes-and-goes into a physical, fleshy entity who becomes a major character. Any horror elements established to this point are completely lost, and with such a lackluster commentary on adolescent bullying, the materialization of Moira loses intrigue by the time she reaches her third victim, then fourth victim, then fifth victim, and so on. The film’s innocent-filled killing spree just doesn’t go along with Moira’s “revenge against bullies” mantra, instilling clunky character motivations that seem to service the plot more than walk a straight, consistent line throughout.
Some Kind Of Hate is unbalanced, messy (for numerous reasons), and disjointed, but stems from a stellar idea that just needed a bit more fleshing out. Had the film avoided devolving into a slop of grotesque fake suicides, we might have a deeper movie about the sad effects bullying truly has – but that’s not this movie. This movie flaunts itself as a vengeful nightmare for overly-macho douchebags, but it’s really just as hateful as the neanderthalic brutes Mortimer and co-writer Brian DeLeeuw target. There’s a better movie here, but in its current, clunky state, there’s unfortunately not enough fluidity between a flurry of good ideas and the connecting material between each one.
Some Kind Of Hate is a vengeful anti-bullying film that gets too caught up in gory kill sequences to expand upon its undercooked social satire.