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Directed by James Cullen Bressack

A group of three masked Neo-Nazis break into a Jewish family household one evening on the birthday of their youngest son and hold the family members hostage as they teach them a thing or two about being the ‘superior’ race.

Home invasion movies seem to be on the rise but none that I’ve seen have felt so raw or real as James Cullen Bressack’s effort. Filmed in real-time entirely on a digital handheld camcorder by the characters in the film, the viewer gets an uncomfortable front row seat to all the torment, rape and abuse that these three sadistic psychos dish out. Hate Crime is not an easy watch. Far from it. It throws you into the heart of the household and forces you to sit back and watch the ensuing violence whether you want to or not, just like the victims in the film.

For the most part, the actors do a great job in this film, convincingly portraying an average 2.3 family and three drugged up fascists who are intent on making the family’s lives a living nightmare. However, during the initial hostage taking, a couple of the actors playing the family members didn’t always react in the way that their characters should have, causing the illusion to be dropped a little. This is only a minor quibble near the start of the film and is soon addressed as the film progresses. Another slight hiccup, for me, is that there’s a distinct lack of blood and considering what happens to the family, the sight of blood-stained clothing and bodies would have added that extra punch of realism. Lastly, during a rape scene it was clear that the victim’s knickers were still left on and that the rapist was just dry humping her. I don’t mean to be picky, but for it to have really shocked me the camera should have either shown them both nude in the genital area or cut away to their faces and not shown it at all.

The violent sadists, named One, Two and Three, each have their individual characters. One (Jody Barton) is the quietest, probably the most sensitive of the group but is still a mean SOB, with Two (Tim Moran) having brains but no common sense and Three (Ian Roberts) a muscular beast of a man who’s appetite for violence and rape, pure carnal desires is the only thing on his mind. You would not want any of these guys alone, never mind together, breaking into your home and their belief in what they are doing is right only makes them even more of a threat.

James Cullen Bressack has done a great job with this independent film and through the brutal on-screen action carries a warning message for families to be vigilant and to be aware that crimes like this exist. It’s a harsh world out there and some people will do the most depraved things, either fuelled by their beliefs or for the pure reason that they “want to” or “can”. The film’s script is current and emphasises the threatening nature of what ensues and the way in which the film was shot, with one character passing the camera to another, is pretty fluid and keeps the momentum of the story. As the film progresses, the footage and script break down along with the Neo-Nazis control over their hostages, reflecting what it would be like in real-life.

As I mentioned earlier, this is a difficult watch and one cannot ‘enjoy’ the movie as such, but James Cullen Bressack has shown he has the direction and ideas to prosper in the film industry.

Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

About Bat 7799 Articles
I love practical effects, stop-motion animation and gore, but most of all I love a good story! I adore B-movies and exploitation films in many of their guises and also have a soft spot for creature features. I review a wide range of media including movies, TV series, books and videogames. I'm a massive fan of author Hunter S. Thompson and I enjoy various genre of videogames with Kingdom Hearts and Harvest Moon two of my all time favs. Currently playing: Tembo: The Badass Elephant, Yakuza Zero and Payday 2.

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