Some Kind Of Hate (2015)

First published by TwitchFilm

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After finally standing up for himself against a vicious bully, troubled teen Lincoln (Ronen Rubinstein) is sent to a New Age reform school in the Californian desert, where he is quick to find himself the target of further bullying. In a moment of frustrated anger, he accidentally summons the spirit of Moira Karp (Sierra McCormick), a dead girl happy to turn his vendetta into her own – and equally happy to transfer her allegiances to the compromised, guilt-ridden Kaitlin (Grace Phipps) once Lincoln has grasped exactly why his tormentors keep dying, one by one.

Adam Egypt Mortimer’s debut clearly adopts the dress code of a conventional slasher – except that there is a welcome regendering here of tired old slasher tropes as our hero plays the role of final girl while his feminine side swaps passive victimhood for vindictive aggression. Much as chief bully Willie (Maestro Harrell) uses homophobic slurs to cover for his own barely hidden homosexuality, Moira must slash and slice her own ghostly flesh for others to sustain the same injuries. It is a bold visual metaphor for the proximity of harm to self-harm in the formative identities of adolescence – allowing Some Kind of Hate to deal originally and intelligently with the all too easily reversible power dynamics of bullying, with the dangerous wish fulfilment of revenge, and with the endless transferability of tit-for-tat violence.

Anton Bitel