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‘Hurt’ review: Character driven slasher has good ideas

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Hurt differentiates itself from other slashers immediately. The film starts out with slow drawn out shots, before immediately who seems to be the lead. This turns out to be an effective fake, but still sets a pace that will remain the entire time. Tommy (Andrew Creer) is back from a tour of duty and suffers from PTSD. He reunites with his wife Rose (Emily Van Raay) and the two try to recapture what they had before Tommy was deployed. A date at a local Halloween amusement park soon turns into a fight for their lives.

Slashers are not known for their deep character development. Hurt decides early that it is going to provide audiences more than just fodder for the next kill scene. Unfortunately, The way it handles things does not quite work. In lieu of building its characters during the actual story, the film clumsily uses flashbacks. These are often randomly dropped in and tend to be very confusing. Even worse, these moments add little the the characters.

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The film moves at a methodical pace that matches the story it is trying to tell. It has many of the tropes seen in the Halloween amusement park sub genre, but it plays like a more character driven story. This decision will end up dividing audiences. Hurt does a wonderful job of creating a terrifying atmosphere in which everyone is in danger. Its attempts to provide well rounded characters is hit and miss, ranging between more than what is usually seen to laughably over the top. Some will also dislike that the true horror does not start until about an hour in.

How much a person enjoys the final act will probably end up being the deciding factor. It is at this point Hurt becomes an actual horror film. By then, the audience may be so exhausted trying to figure out what the movie is trying to say, they may have given up. There are some good ideas, but none pan out quite as expected.

Hurt opens in theaters and comes to VOD/Digital December 10

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