It’s pretty impressive to churn out two found footage films so close to one another and have them be so totally different. James Cullen Bressack’s Hate Crime is a raw, gritty film, which is best watched all by yourself.
It’s Alex’s birthday and dad’s filming the event just like he does every year. The whole family is gathered around to celebrate, when things take a very quick turn for the worse. The house is invaded by three masked men, covered in Nazi garb and pointing guns at each member of the family. Before we know it, these neo-Nazi party-crashers are forcing the family to perform unspeakable acts, while filming the entire thing.
This is now the third film I’ve seen under Bressack’s direction that stars Jody Barton and I could not be happier. I’ve quickly become a big fan of his and with every performance, he manages to fit right into his role, naturally and smoothly. I’m not sure that is a good thing when your character is a hateful bigot like “One,” but it still goes to show how great of a performer Barton really is.
Horrendous scenes of violence don’t take long to pop up in this 2013 independent film. Bressack once again takes control of his resources, utilizing the camera and setting to his advantage. When there is no need to waste money on blood or gore, he uses the off-screen death technique. When he does, however, need to show some more carnage, the make-up effects are done well, only being helped by the found footage style, making the spectacle that much more unnerving.
While I felt the movie started off strong and kind of died down towards the end, it is still worth the watch. It is not one of these films that is shocking just for the sake of trying to disgust you. Everything is done in context of the situation and just adds to the suspense and horror of it all.
If you are a fan of Bressack’s other projects (To Jennifer, 13/13/13) and/or are looking for a movie that makes you feel morally wrong for watching it, look no further than Hate Crime. It’ll have you second guessing your own eyes, asking “did I just see that?” on more than one occasion.
I give this film 3.5 birthday cakes out of 5.