DIRECTOR: Michael G. Kehoe
WRITER: Michael G. Kehoe
Ronnie Gene Blevins
When four young women travel to their college professor's new country house for a weekend getaway. They soon get more than they bargained for when they discover that the house hides an incredibly dark secret. As they start to snoop around, they find that the original owner may have close ties to the Nazi's and Hitler himself. It's now up to the four women to fight for survival and stop an ancient evil.
The Hatred comes to us from Producer Malek Akkad. You may know him from such movies as Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers, Halloween H20, the forgettable Halloween: Resurrection, both of the Rob Zombie Halloween remakes and the all-new Halloween sequel. So going into this latest flick, and seeing his name on the project, I thought that it had some clout. With a big-named producer behind the movie, I was sort of excited to see what this one had to offer.
After watching The Hatred. This is a movie that is riddled with problems. Yet, it has stuff that I admire about it. This is a spin on the haunted house film that we've all seen a hundred times or more. When it comes to that element of the plot, though, you'll have likely seen it all before. I can't see many horror fans walking out of this movie shocked by the events that happen once our four young women are preyed upon by a malevolent, revenge-seeking ghost. I'd say it's the most ridiculous part when it comes to the story if I'm honest.
Before our rage-filled entity starts to dispatch of the core group. The plot delves into the history of the property, and previous owners. This is the part of the story that I enjoyed. It feels like for half of the film, it's grounded in some kind of reality. I liked that this patriarch of the original family was connected to Hilter and the whole Nazi occupation. I thought this was a nice touch. I also really enjoyed the addition of the amulet and the connection to the Knights Templar. I thought this was an interesting little twist on what we've come to expect.
Once these two elements come colliding together, it all sort of falls apart. Things get increasingly silly and at times laughable. The patriarch wearing an old protective suit with a gas mask is inherently creepy. It's a visual that gets under your skin. The fact that the patriarch is strict and the family is Amish. It gives it this uncomfortable vibe when the daughter wants to explore life outside her confined upbringing. They should have had him be the main villain. We hate him from the outset, and they decide to go with the dead daughter who like in many of these supernatural films, just wants to be found. A plot device we've seen before.
Why is it when a character is killed in a violent rage, that their spirit decides to harm the people that it's trying to connect with in hopes of getting them to free their body so they can be at peace? Haven't these spirits ever heard of the saying that you catch more flies with honey? Once it's revealed that the daughter is the big-bad of the film. It's just a very odd visual. We have this bright yellow CGI ghost who is surrounded by this smoke. Screaming and flying around the house just makes it all the funnier, Not scary. It kills all the tension in the story.
I will have to hand it to the director and writers who give the audience one set-piece that completely subverted my expectations and creeped me out. We believe that our protagonist is speaking to the young girl she is babysitting. When she looks under the bed at the request of the little girl, the little girl is under the bed and states 'that's not me'. To pan up and reveal the little girl is, in fact, the spirit. It was genuinely creepy. I also enjoyed the design of this green-skinned creature which is clawed and has bright glowing yellow eyes. They seem to throw a lot at the wall and hope it sticks.
When it comes to the acting, I found it all a little hit and miss. Andrew Divoff who we all know from The Wishmaster is the most well-known of the cast, and as always, the guy does creepy very well. I think he was the standout. Sadly, it's the horror scream queen and icon Amanda Wyss was sadly underused here. She is only here in a blink, and you'll miss it role. The four actresses who play our group are all okay, but them sprouting off facts about Nazi's and the Knights Templar was giving me some Denise Richards vibes in The World Is Not Enough. It all seemed a little farfetched.
Lastly, I wanted to talk about the ending of the movie. I feel that it was a pretty big letdown as it doesn't really explain any of the connection between the patriarch and the Nazi-occupation, the Knights Templar or Hilter. While these four college students give us their theories on the links between our father and his past, it's never really explained. It feels like these details are all provided by way of exposition, yet they don't really come together. I thought that this wasn't executed very well.
DEATH TOLL: 8
BLOOD AND GORE:
- A girl is drowned in a trough.
- A woman sprays insecticide into a man's mouth killing him.
- A woman is attacked by a demon.
- A man is impaled and ripped back into a house.
- Two people are found wrapped in barbwire.
- A woman is attacked by a possessed little girl.
- A bloody message is scrawled across a wall.
- A woman pulls a chunk of glass out of her foot.
The Hatred is a movie that feels like a melting pot of ideas that sadly doesn't come together in the end. What is essentially a run-of-the-mill haunted house story with some neat ideas up its sleeve. What works in the story here is the backstory of the original family and the Nazi connection. What doesn't work is all of the supernatural stuff. Instead of providing scares, it backfires and becomes unintentionally funny. It's not all bad, it just doesn't feel like it reaches its full potential.