Tag Archives: occult

The Hatred (2017): “In death we are free”

The Hatred, (directed by Michael G. Kehoe and starring Andrew Divoff, David Naughton, Amanda Wyss, Sarah Davenport, Gabrielle Bourne, Bailey Corman, Alisha Wainwright, Nina Siemaszko, Shae Smolik, and Darby Walker) was released on DVD/Blu yesterday. I’m very excited about the upcoming podcast interview with Michael Kehoe, and Andrew Divoff’s upcoming announcement of his new business venture, Three Marm Brewing. In the meantime, I’ll share my thoughts about the film itself.

Without  revealing major spoilers, the first part of the film takes place in 1968, in which former Nazi soldier Samuel Sears (Andrew Divoff) has assimilated into American society as a reclusive farmer. He receives an amulet in the mail from one of his Nazi associates, and the amulet prompts a series of violent events at the farmhouse. In the present day, a group of young women on a weekend retreat at the old farmhouse encounter the amulet’s evil influence along with the ghosts of Sears’ family.

The trailer looked massively creepy, but the scenes involving the four young women in the present-day scenes made me a bit worried that the film itself would involve a bunch of shallow, bubble-headed bimboes being terrorized in typical slasher film fashion. Fortunately, I was very wrong about this point. The young women are actually intelligent and inquisitive. One of the funniest moments that counters audience expectations is when the blonde Samantha (Bailey Corman, the niece of Roger Corman) not only recognizes a gruesome artifact as an 11th century Viking death mask, but also exclaims, “I’m in heaven!” Later, Samantha is revealed to be a scholar and serious history buff. Once the malevolent supernatural activity really kicks off, the young women react by researching the history and properties of the amulet rather than becoming hysterical.

Andrew Divoff as the Nazi Samuel Sears

The film’s performances are solid. Darby Walker is great as Sears’ daughter, Alice, who meets an unpleasant end early in the film. Andrew Divoff is phenomenal as the ex-Nazi Samuel Sears. He’s as menacing as you would expect, based on Andrew’s other bad-guy roles, but he also shows some sensitivity and emotional vulnerability in some of the scenes, adding complexity to his overbearing, authoritarian patriarch character. There  are also some unanswered questions about this character and his relationship to the local Sheriff. It seems like the Sheriff has some skeletons in his own closet, and Sears leverages this knowledge to prevent the Sheriff from conducting any serious investigation into Alice’s disappearance, or from outing Sears as a former Nazi. 

Don’t go into this movie expecting a T&A slasher film, or even blood and gore. (Though there is a flashback sequence that makes me wonder if Sears disemboweled and taxidermied Alice.) Instead, it’s a character-centric ghost story with an emphasis on atmosphere and spookiness. Pick up your copy of The Hatred on Blu-ray today! Also, those of you in Southern California can meet  director Michael Kehoe, FX designer Gary Tunnicliffe, and cast members Andrew Divoff, Sarah Davenport,  Amanda Wyss, Gabrielle Bourne, Musetta Vander, and Nina Siemaszko at Dark Delicacies on September 16, 2017.

 

The Zombie Tarot: A funny deck for troubled people

The first Wednesday of each month is Disturbed Divination Day here at My Horrific Life. In honor of the new season premier of The Walking Dead, I’m reviewing The Zombie Tarot: An Oracle of the Undead with Deck and Instructions, which is one of the two decks I use most often when doing readings for others. (The other is Deviant Moon Tarot Deck, another twisted favorite with relatively mainstream appeal.)

I love everything about the Zombie Tarot, including the box, which when opened looks like a case of ammunition.The cards themselves present an alternate-reality zombie apocalypse set in the 1950s, starting with the initial outbreak (The Fool) and culminating in humanity attempting a fresh start after the zombies are eradicated by nuclear bombing (The World). Like most Tarot decks, this one is firmly based on the Rider-Waite model. Needless to say, it’s a twisted, pop-culture-savvy re-interpretation. For example, The Tower card seems reminiscent of George Romero’s Land of the Dead, in which unsuspecting revelers in a high-rise apartment complex will experience a sudden downturn of fortune. The Six of (Bio)Hazards (i.e. Pentacles) card depicts a trained zombie completing household chores, and seemed reminiscent of  the horror-comedy Fido. A random selection of cards are shown below.

fullsizeoutput_f25

The faux-antique guidebook is compact with a bare-bones (pun intended) interpretation of each card, and fake ads in the back resembling those from a 1950s catalogue. If you want a twisted deck that will bring a smile to your querants’ faces, this is a great choice!