The Hatred (2017)
Directed by: Michael G. Kehoe
Written by: Michael G. Kehoe
Starring: Andrew Divoff, Bayley Corman, Darby Walker, David Naughton, Gabrielle Bourne, Nina Siemaszko, Sarah Davenport, Shae Smolik
THE HATRED (2017)
Written and Directed by Michael G. Kehoe
Reagan is invited to stay at her old professor’s home for the weekend and invites three of her school friends along to make it into a girly weekend. Joining Reagan and her friends is the professor’s daughter Irene, a well-behaved young girl who the four are keen to mother and treat like a little sister. Having only just moved in recently, Irene hasn’t yet settled into the home but is already unnerved by a malevolent presence in the house that may be connected to the terrible crimes of the property’s previous owner, Samuel Sears, a former Nazi soldier, and a treasured iron cross once possessed by Hitler himself. Soon enough, all five of them will come face to face with the horrors of the past…
Nazis make such good villains in horror movies, not only because of their despicable real-life crimes but also because of the crazy ideas that they invested in. You only need to look online or watch the history channels to gain an insight into the mysticism and occultism which they dabbled in. In THE HATRED, we get a taste of both aspects of this as genre favourite Andrew Divoff (Wishmaster) plays Samuel Sears, a Nazi soldier in hiding, having setup a new life for himself on a farm in America with his wife and teenage daughter. It seems that although he has decided to pursue a new career path that he hasn’t exactly left his old ways behind him as he refuses to let his daughter leave the farm or entertain friends on their property. A mysterious parcel containing a personal letter, a photograph of him stood beside Hitler himself and a strange Iron Cross fuel the idea that he is still serving the Third Reich in some degree. With what appears to be some sinister power attached to the cross, Samuel hides it within the walls of the basement and promptly cements it up. However, constant shots of an almost pulsating wall imply that whatever energy is contained within that cross is having an effect above ground.
Fast-forward 50 years (those scenes were in the 1960’s), and we’re introduced to Reagan and her friends. They’re your typical girlfriends, as in they love drinking wine and chatting about their boyfriends but, refreshingly, they’re not bitchy. In fact, they have a bit of a depth to them. Reagan herself seems down to earth and older than her years, especially in the way she mothers Irene, and seems to have relocated away from her family to bag herself a job. Her friend Samantha is a complete history nerd and goes into full-on geek mode when she discovers various artefacts from the past in the house but not before having a brush with the evil inside the house herself. What exactly is going on is a mystery to most of them but young Irene (Shae Smolik) seems to be a little more clued up, having experienced the evil more than once in the short time she’s spent at the house with her parents.
Like most films that rely on bumps in the night time, THE HATRED relies on jump scares, flying objects and CGI effects to frighten the viewer but what I was holding out for was to see what malevolent energy or magic this iron cross stashed in the basement contained. Unfortunately, this key piece of the puzzle doesn’t even appear to that important at all and acts as a vague, throwaway reason as to the events happening inside the house. In what feels like a lazy cop out, the unique aspect of the movie is dropped in favour of a cliched motive for the haunting. This is rather disappointing as it seemed like the film was heading somewhere special after a solid start with the solid character building, from both the sixties to present day. Ultimately, the old cat and mouse chase, jump scares and predictable ending just made for bland viewing with little to actually frighten the viewer nor invest in as a story.
THE HATRED does have some great performances, particularly from Andrew Divoff who just steals every scene he’s in, but sadly that’s all this film has going for it as it’s not going to terrifying audiences anytime soon.