Hurt is a creepy horror thriller set on Halloween. It’s a bit of a slow-burner, but the horrors are very real and fatal. The movie had its world premiere at Fantasia 2018.

Hurt is both a very classic horror thriller and something more. Much more. The story takes place on the eve of Halloween, which is a very classic horror-move. Almost like a powerplay move in this genre.

However, the story revolves around a young man, Tommy, who just returned home from his first tour as a soldier. He is trying to act normal but is finding it extremely difficult.

His wife does her best to support him in his return to “normal life”, while also making it clear that she needs him back. At the same time, he wants to be back completely, but his mind is still trapped in the war.

Sounds too touchy-feely? It’s not. This is a horror movie. It just also includes the very real horrors of many veterans.

A Halloween horror movie

Hurt really is a perfect Halloween horror movie. There’s this lingering feeling (or threat even) that so much could happen during Halloween and nobody would react.

If a girl is running down the street screaming for help while being chased, then surely someone would react. Right? Well, during Halloween, people tend to look at the spectacle and appreciate the intensity and dedication. Like a cosplay event almost.

This is something that has been used before in many horror movies. Including horror anthologies like Holidays and horror movies like Fear, Inc.

For Hurt, it’s not the main thing, but it does help the story feel realistic and believable.

Hurt (2018) Horror Movie

Great casting in Hurt

Because Hurt is quite a slow-burner, the actors become a lot more important. When you can’t hide behind crazy slasher moves and other horror tropes to simply entertain, then the characters take center stage.

For Hurt, the lead role of Rose is portrayed by Emily Van Raay. She plays the wife of Tommy, who is played by Andrew Creer. And I have to really take my hat of (so to speak) to Andrew Creer. His heartbreaking and eerily scary portrayal of a man returning from war is both important and admirable.

When acting across from one another, Emily Van Raay and Andrew Creer really make the story work effortlessly. You can’t help but root for them. Even when Tommy disappears and people start dying very violently.

Hurt (2018) Horror Movie

Another fascinating story from Mallhi

Hurt was directed by Sonny Mallhi, who also co-wrote the script with Solomon Gray.

For Solomon Gray, this is a feature film debut. He did, however, write and direct his own short film Crybaby back in 2016. And I”m guessing we’ll see more from him in the near future.

Most recently, Sonny Mallhi also directed and co-write the innovative Family Blood. You can read our review of Family Blood here, which is a movie we recommend watching. This is the third time directing a feature film for Sonny Mallhi and he continues to impress us.

The films by Sonny Mallhi may not be for every horror fan because they do focus a lot on characters and build-up. It may even be too much of a slow-burner for me at times, but I do love the intensity of his storytelling.

I have a feeling he could suddenly create an absolute masterpiece along the lines of Hereditary. He just needs to find the perfect story and balance in his storytelling. The style and tone are there, and he’s not too far off with Hurt.

Hurt premiered at Fantasia International Film Festival in Canada on July 26, 2018.


Director: Sonny Mallhi
Writers: Solomon Gray, Sonny Mallhi
Cast: Emily Van Raay, Andrew Creer, Bradley Hamilton, Stephanie Moran


Rose moves into a house in the woods close to her sister after her boyfriend gets deployed and things don’t go right when Halloween night arrives.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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