Directed by Barbara Stepansky [Other horror films: I Hate L.A. (2011), Fugue (2011), 7 from Etheria (2017)]
Oftentimes, Hurt has a bleak and pretty atmospheric feel, and despite it’s not-so-stellar story, I actually think it’s a movie that’s worth watching, should slow-burns be your thing.
Taking place in a desert junkyard many miles from civilization really helped increase the feel of utter isolation, which in turn helped dramatically with the moody, aforementioned bleak feel the film possesses. It doesn’t hurt that the circumstances the main characters are placed in are rather realistic, going into financial ruin after the death of a provider. More importantly, I think most of the drama here worked, as well as most of the tension.
It does take a little while to get moving, though, so luckily some of the main performances are pretty solid. Jackson Rathbone and Johanna Braddy make for a solid brother-sister dynamic – their scenes felt decidedly more real than many of the other relationships in the film. Sofia Vassilieva does pretty good as a creepy little girl, and doesn’t come off as annoying as many other child actresses can. The mother, played by Melora Walters, came across as the most stale character here, and though the performance improves as the movie goes on, she always seems to be the weak link.
Since the movie does move at a slower pace, I’m happy to say that the increasing tension as the film carries on seemed solid. Given that there’s not much in the way of gore here, it’s good that some of the performances and tension worked out. The story itself has some holes in it, but I sort of like the direction the movie went in.
I think I first saw this film five, maybe six years ago. Perhaps longer. I just know that I wasn’t overly thrilled with it when I first saw it. This time around, while it’s far from a perfect film, I do think I appreciate it quite a bit more. Generally, this film’s gotten tepid responses, and I get it, but as for me, I was moderately pleased with this re-watch.