Hate Crime (2012) Review
Release Date: TBA
Written by James Cullen Bressack and Jarret Cohen
Directed by James Cullen Bressack
Some of you may remember a review I wrote a while back for James Cullen Bressack’s debut feature: My Pure Joy. I wasn’t really feeling it, but there were a lot of moments where I saw Bressack’s potential as a writer/director and I really looked forward to seeing what was next for the 20-year-old filmmaker. When Mr. Bressack gave me the opportunity to review his second feature film, Hate Crime, I jumped at the opportunity.
Bressack requested that I not give away any details of the plot in this review, which is a completely understandable request due to the outright shocking nature of Hate Crime. All I will say regarding the plot is what is listed on the IMDB page: “A family is held hostage by sadistic home intruders.” That’s the best way to go into the film: completely blind to what will be happening next.
The word “disturbing” gets thrown around a lot today when discussing horror films. People think The Human Centipede is disturbing. Apparently so were the Saw films. While I somewhat enjoyed the latter, I never found either particularly disturbing. Hate Crime is disturbing. From start to finish it is violent, sadistic, gruesome, and sometimes even disgusting. Hate Crime is the most emotionally-draining film I think I have ever seen and made me genuinely uncomfortable in a way that no other movie has been able to.
The acting was excellent and believable. I have a lot of respect for Jody Barton, Tim Moran, and Ian Roberts, as well as Greg Depetro, Maggie Warner, Debbie Diesel, Nicholas Clark, and Sloane Morgan Siegel. All of the actors deserve it for giving such strong performances in a film that was clearly a tough one to make. Bressack has a way of strumming the viewer’s nerve strings like they’re attached to a guitar. He lets you know from the beginning that you’re not safe. The universe that Hate Crime takes place is a dangerous one…but it’s too late and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. When Hate Crime came to a vicious end, I was left stunned. My gut was in a knot from what I had just witnessed. Fact or fiction – it didn’t matter. Hate Crime messed me up, but in a good way.
This generation’s horror films rarely have a message, but Hate Crime does. It offers a very important message that a lot of us often forget and, for that, James Cullen Bressack should be applauded. With Hate Crime, Bressack proves that he has the courage that most filmmakers can only wish that they had. This young man is a stud and I can’t wait to see what is next for him.
- Blair Hoyle