Kid Kalifornia Productions’ independent horror flick The Hatred is an intriguing presentation. It is a movie that horror fans will not necessarily hate, but that they will likely not love, either. As with its counterpart The Deeper Your Dig — also created by the independent film making family dubbed “The Adams Family” – it boasts its positives. But it also bears its own negatives. The most obvious of its positives is its story. This aspect will be addressed shortly. While the story is simple enough to follow, the movie’s production values – the very way in which the story is presented – detracts considerably from the overall presentation. It will be addressed a little later. While the overall presentation of The Hatred considerably detracts from its presentation, the pacing of the story makes up for that issue at least to a point. It will also be addressed later. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of this indie hybrid horror flick. All things considered, they make the movie worth watching maybe occasionally at best.
Arrow Video’s recent Blu-ray re-issue of “The Adams Family’s” independent horror flick The Hatred is a presentation that fans of the genre will agree is worth watching maybe every once in a while. Re-issued in October by Arrow Video as part of a two-movie set that also features “The Adams Family’s” other flick The Deeper You Dig, this movie is hardly memorable, but not a complete failure. One thing that it does have going for it is its story. The civil war-era story featured in this movie is simple. A young woman is left orphaned after a group of apparently Union soldiers murders her sister and mother, this after the group shot and killed one of its own and then hanged the other. The girl – played by Zelda Adams (the youngest member of the “Adams Family” – is so overcome by her rage at what the soldiers did to her family, that when she finds the hanged soldier, she somehow brings him back to life (she claimed it was through praying in her story to the Union officer who is interrogating her. This matter will be discussed shortly, as it does hurt the story) and uses him to make the other soldiers pay for what they’ve done. One by one, the unnamed soldier kills his former fellows by increasingly gruesome fashion, from gunshot to slashing to even disembowelment. Yes, there is a lot of blood and gore here, so those with weak stomachs are cautioned here.
As the story progresses, it is revealed that the story is in fact the girl’s recollection as she is being interrogated by another Union officer about the deaths of the men. This is where the plot hole comes into play. The story never explains how the girl was apprehended and brought in for the interrogation. It seems like a minor issue on the surface, but on a much larger scale, considering that the murdered soldiers are the only other figures in the forest, it would have been nice to know how she was captured. This problem does not leave the movie completely unwatchable, but it is a matter that audiences cannot and should not overlook.
Staying on the topic of problems from which this movie suffers, its very presentation is problematic in its own right. Between the cinematography, the girl’s narration, and the overall acting, the very manner in which this story is presented detracts from the movie’s appeal, in its own way. The constant cold, snowy backdrop and the grey skies are important to setting the mood, given. However, after almost an hour, the gloomy feeling that they generate wears thin. The girl’s narration is so pretentious and goth. It conjures Lydia (Winona Ryder) in Beetlejuice as she sits in her room, writing what is meant to be a suicide note. Adams’ demeanor as she delivers her story is just as annoying as her very delivery. It just detracts considerably from the overall presentation. She is not the only cast member whose performance is problematic. The Union officer who is interrogating her is just as unbelievable in his performance. The same applies to the soldier who is bludgeoned to death by the resurrected soldier. The way in which the bludgeoned soldier begs for mercy is a bit “hammy” to say the least. Simply put, the performances overall, the general cinematography and even the narration give this movie the feel of something that was crafted by a college student more so than a professional film maker, even being an independent work.
For all the problems that the general presentation of The Hatred raises, it does have at least one other positive that keeps it worth at least one watch. That one other positive is the pacing of its story. Audiences are reminded here that The Hatred’s run time does not even reach the one hour mark. Yes, it is that short, coming in at 59 minutes. In that short run time, the story actually does manage to keep its focus throughout. From one soldier to the next, the girl recounts how the resurrected soldier murders each man. There is no side tracking for secondary story lines at any point, which is a very good thing. That allows the story to progress smoothly and in turn keep audiences engaged if only through this aspect. Even in the slightly slower moments in the cabin in which the girl is being interrogated, the pacing does not slow down too much. The end result of that balance in the story’s pacing throughout is that audiences will appreciate the story, even with its one notable plot hole. To that end, viewers will agree that the easy to follow story and its pacing are just enough counter to the movie’s presentation style and make it worth watching maybe occasionally.
Kid Kalifornia Productions’ 2018 independent horror flick The Hatred is hardly one of the most memorable entries in the genre. At the same time it is worth watching maybe at least occasionally. That is due in part to the movie’s easy to follow story. That is the case even despite its one notable plot hole. The movie’s overall presentation style does detract from its appeal as it gives the movie the feel of a production that was created by a college student more so than even a professional independent film maker. While The Hatred’s presentation style greatly detracts from its appeal, the pacing of the movie’s central story makes up for that issue at least partially. When this aspect is considered along with the story, the two elements join to make the movie worth watching maybe at least once.
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