Four young women travel to their college professor’s new country home for a weekend getaway, only to discover that the house has a malevolent past.
The Hatred, Michael G. Kehoe‘s new film, is a refreshing change for the paranormal thriller genre. A hidden secret burrows into lives of the inhabitants of a sprawling country estate, leaving them no choice but to fight for their lives and hopefully escape.
The story opens on Samuel Sears (Andrew Divoff), a stern and foreboding hulk of a man in total contrast to the relaxed rural Californian surroundings. He, his wife Miriam (Nina Siemaszko) and daughter Alice (Darby Walker) live under his oppressive iron-fist rules. Samuel harbors a very dark secret that literally festers and permeates the very walls of his pastoral refuge.
We flash forward a good fifty years. Same house, new inhabitants. Beth Crossan (Amanda Wyss) and Walter (David Naughton) prepare to leave for a trip, leaving one of their students, Regan (Sarah Davenport), in charge of the home and their young daughter Irene (Shae Smolik). The setup takes a while but now we know the backstory, the players, and the stakes.
This seems like a delightful weekend of pastoral hijinks whilst taking care of their teacher’s kid and earning extra credit. That is until the home can’t contain the hatred that once inhabited it. The Hatred literally begins to seep through the walls, manifesting itself in original and terrifying ways. When the thunderstorm hits, when the lights go out, the shit gets real.
Based on a short film by Michael G. Kehoe, the film takes a one note scare and builds a concept around it with strong effect. This is a strange hybrid of Paranormal activity, The Conjuring, and Insidious that takes what works about them and deftly interlaces their strengths for a creepy narrative. I mean, really, how can you say no to a haunted house film that takes place on a stormy night? As the group of girls begin to uncover the horrifying secret incased in the walls of the home, more begins to unravel and attack.
Divoff’s Samuel is a creepy menace that needed more screen time. Stoic and brutal, he is The Hatred that should have come home to roost at the end. Let’s be clear, The Hatred delivers the goods with gusto. I just wish that when the hate really began to flow we had a formidable enemy to be afraid of. The Hatred 2 anyone?