There’s already been an excellent review of this film on here, but I’d like to offer an alternate take on it. And not be quite as clever or perceptive as he was. But so be it.
I don’t need to recap the plot for you – https://iscfc.net/2012/07/19/preview-hate-crime/ – so this will be a little shorter. First up, the acting was excellent. Whoever found that group of people who were presumably willing to work for no money is a genius, and credit to the cast themselves, who give the film more than it possibly deserved. For example. it appears that this is Debbie Diesel’s first film (playing Lindsay, the daughter of the family), and I predict bigger things for her.
Also, I’m a firm believer in making do with what you have, and not letting a budget of what looks like zero dollars become a hindrance. It’s the people who complain that they couldn’t do something because of cash, or put in half-assed effects, that annoy me. This film plays with what it has, and more power to it.
I’ve also got nothing against violent films, and films with a bleak view of society, as this film certainly has. I feel I need to say this to prepare you for what’s coming up. So far, so good. They’ve got a cast which is excellent, they’re playing within their strengths, and I have enjoyed some fairly gruesome films in my time.
Okay, so this film is like being punched in the face for 70 minutes by someone who’s clearly having the time of their lives, only to be told at the end by that same person, “hey, violence and hate is bad, okay? You should definitely not do this”. Its gleeful nature at depicting violence is hard to tally with its literal message. Maybe it’s deliberate, and the filmmakers stripped out anything human, anything approaching remorse, to make a point. I’d like to believe this, but I get the feeling it’s probably not.
A problem with this film is a problem with all found footage films, everywhere – all films like this rely on some cast member carrying on holding a camera long past the point it makes any sense at all, to often ludicrous extremes. So, that’s not a problem specific to this film, but a problem inbuilt in this genre.
For the first portion of this film, I had a nagging doubt- if these obvious murderers are going to murder these people, why are they bothering wearing masks? Almost as soon as this thought passed through my mind, they revealed they were only supposed to be scaring them out of the neighbourhood. This – being proved wrong about a film almost immediately – is known in my house as a “Mark”, or “being Marked” (named after my good self).
We at the ISCFC were given early viewing rights to this film, and for that I want to thank all at PsykikJunky Films for taking a chance on the little film review site that could. They’ve asked us not to spoil the film, as well, and it’s been an interesting challenge. But, the ending…I’ll throw out a hypothetical, and see what you think. Imagine if you’re watching “Cloverfield” and, about 20 minutes before the end, the screen fades to black, and text comes up which just tells you how the film ends. Imagine how bummed out you’d be?