Saturday, April 13, 2013

Hate Crime

Uneasy is a word that I use to describe very few films. At this point in my life, I've only managed to find a handful of movies that gave me that feeling as I watched the events therein transpire. I had read a lot of hype about director James Cullen Bressack's home invasion found footage flick, Hate Crime, most of which promised that most people won't be able to stomach it. Those are the kinds of boasts that catch my attention almost every time, and sadly, more times than not, I'm disappointed when I finally watch the movie in question. Last night, Hate Crime was officially released for rent on VOD via Psykik Junky Pictures, and within minutes of the link being posted, I had paid my $6.66 and readied myself for pain.

It's evident early on that Hate Crime isn't playing around when it comes to the violence. It's raw, sadistic, and just as the name implies, hateful. That's not to say it's full of gratuitous gore, or blood splatter, there's hardly a drop of the red stuff, save for a couple of scenes. The violence in this movie is actually realistic, and that's what makes it so disturbing. At times it was difficult to watch because the entire time I was thinking to myself "this could easily be actually happening right now". Take heed to all the warnings from reviews folks, I don't know if I've ever seen a meaner flick.

As I mentioned, this is a found footage movie, and I know that's going to get groans and eye rolls from a lot of people, but it doesn't really feel like a found footage movie. It's incredibly realistic, it basically happens in real-time, and is beautifully edited. It feels more like you're there, enduring the hell with this family instead of simply watching. Of course all the editing in the world wouldn't help if the cast weren't believable, and thankfully, Bressack managed to find some incredibly talented actors and actresses to bring his story to life. I can't imagine it was an easy feat to get into the right mindset to act out some of the things in this movie, but almost everyone involved turns in a totally believable, flawless performance. Again, it's terrifying because this is exactly what a home invasion of this nature would look/sound like.

Hate Crime isn't a movie to be enjoyed with others, I feel like it would lose it's effectiveness in larger groups. It certainly isn't a "get drunk with all your buds, and watch a movie" kind of film. To truly experience this movie, and get the most out of it, I feel like solo is the best way to watch.

From the very beginning, Hate Crime grabbed me by the neck and repeatedly punched me in the gut, and then kicked me while I was down. I lost count at the amount of times all I could do was sit there and say "fuck". James Cullen Bressack and company deliver a movie experience that actually gets to you, elicits an emotional response, and that's incredibly rare for me. This is guerrilla film-making at it's finest.

This movie will absolutely not be for everyone. In fact I only personally know a handful of people who I think would be able to watch it through to the end. Only those with strong stomachs, and strongly desensitized to violence need apply. Hate Crime is a rare treat for those of us who seek out this type of experience with a film.


Maynard Morrissey said...

I feel like I'm the only one who wasn't that impressed by it. Sure, it's wonderfully brutal and at times quite disturbing, but due to many really dull scenes and the three awfully annoying intruders, I ended up being not that satisfied...

Mister Bones said...

I dunno man, I felt like for a bunch of coked up Neo-Nazis they pretty much nailed it lol.

J. Astro said...

I may have sought this one out years ago, kinda in the same boat with you as far as being attracted by its claims of being so over-the-top that "only the most hardcore can handle it", etc. But nowadays I've decided that I want my movies to be fun, and these types rarely are. *shrug* I think I'm getting old, because suddenly these "extreme" films hold no attraction for me; they seem to run counter to my current idea that movies should be at least in SOME sense fun/escapist in nature.

Glad you reviewed it, though. saw it advertised on FB and was a little curious.

Maynard Morrissey said...

Haha yeah, that's right. Still, I think it would have worked better if the intruders weren't nazis and they would've kept their mouths shut :)
Imagine, 3 masked intruders dressed in black, hardly saying things, just coming in, raping, killing. That I would like more!

Agreed. I always loved to watch everything extreme, but in the last few months I started watching more un-extreme crap. Not sure if I'm getting old, or if the extreme stuff simply can't impress me anymore...

Mister Bones said...

I feel you guys on the extreme stuff. I'm with you Maynard, I think we've just subjected ourselves to so much that it's almost impossible for anything to be effective. I don't think it's old age, I just think we've ruined this particular type of film for ourselves, except in special occasions, which for me, Hate Crime was.

I will say that I like your idea of the intruders not speaking or have them being Nazis terrorizing a Jewish family. But honestly, with that, all this movie would've been is a found footage version of The Strangers... plus the title "Hate Crime" wouldn't have made sense.

And what the hell do you two know about being old?! I'm older than both of ya. Damn whippersnappers.