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.