“Some Kind of Hate” is some kind of mess. What could have been a timely thriller with a sharp anti-bullying message proves a convoluted slashfest in the hands of director Adam Egypt Mortimer, who co-wrote the blurry script with Brian DeLeeuw.
When Lincoln (Ronen Rubinstein), a sullen teen with an abusive father, stabs a school bully with a fork, he’s sent to a desolate, vaguely new-agey reform school called Mind’s Eye Academy. Once there, Lincoln becomes the target of another set of bullies and must choose between ignoring their aggression or showing them who’s boss. Either way, he can’t win.
Lincoln’s festering anger proves an unknowing summons to Moira (Sierra McCormick), a former student at the academy who was so relentlessly bullied there that she committed suicide. She returns from the grave to avenge not only Lincoln’s oppressors but anyone who got in her way when she attended Mind’s Eye. It’s no spoiler to reveal that this will pretty much include everyone on the desert campus — guilty or innocent.
The result is a grim and unappealing film that makes less sense as it unfolds. How does the school operate? Why is the sexy-broody Lincoln ever bullied to begin with? And why is it always with homophobic taunts? (He’s straight.) What are the “rules” for Moira’s powers? The list goes on.
By the third act, focus misguidedly shifts from Lincoln to the razor-blade-wielding Moira and her parade of telekinetic killings. She’s like Carrie White without the prom dress — or any shred of nuance. Despite all the mayhem, Mortimer never whips up any real sense of dread or tension.
“Some Kind of Hate”
MPAA rating: None
Running time: 1 hour, 23 minutes.
Playing: Laemmle’s Music Hall, Beverly Hills.