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2018 09 23 Hostile

Hostile DVD Review

Written by Stuart D. Monroe

DVD released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Hostile Large

Written and directed by Mathieu Turi
2017, 84 minutes, Not Rated
Released on September 4th, 2018

Starring:
Brittany Ashworth as Juliette
Grégory Fitoussi as Jack
Javier Botet as The Monster

Hostile 01 Hostile 02

Review:

Have you ever been at a backyard barbecue (possibly with some new neighbors you don’t know that well) and you hit the grill for a good, old-fashioned chunk of dead animal on a bun? You’re starving. The burger looks good; maybe not the way you normally make ‘em, but good. You take that first bite and you know immediately that all is not what it appears to be. So, you go back to the cook and they inform you that they’re vegans, and your “burger” is made from soy paste or undercover plant matter. You want to be fully appalled, but it didn’t really taste that bad if you’re being honest with yourself.

Can you be honest with yourself? I can. I’m pretty open-minded, especially when something is clearly in that middle ground of drama/horror. This one is a lot like that faux burger – not what it seems on the surface but surprisingly hearty.

Hostile is a three-person show (okay, two people and a monster) set in a post-apocalyptic future of undetermined date and location. The landscape is blasted, and provisions are sparse. Juliette (Brittany Ashworth, The Crucifixion) is a tough, no-nonsense survivor who searches the wastes by day for food and supplies. The small community of 39 souls she inhabits has run out. When she crashes her vehicle while racing home to beat the setting sun (in a scene reminiscent of The Omega Man) she is left in the dark with a badly broken leg. She’s not alone, either. One of the monsters who can’t stand the sun is circling her overturned vehicle, looking for a meal.

Simple premise, right? It is indeed. However, Hostile throws the tried and true method of jumping between pre- and post-apocalypse at you (this burger tastes different….). You soon learn that Juliette was a junky with a serious problem until she met wealthy French art gallery owner, Jack (Grégory Fitoussi, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra). Their meeting seemed to be fate. They fall in love. He brings her back from the depths of rock bottom. He shows her how to love herself and others. She’s soon pregnant, but tragedy strikes (I’d better go talk to the dude on the grill…). The relationship deteriorates under the trauma, but the love is still there. Soon enough, the world starts to fall apart, finally giving you a look at what ushered in the fall of humanity. A seemingly minor mystery arises (What do you mean it’s a vegan burger….). Two streams of time collide, so to speak.

Hostile is a film produced with skill on a small budget and filmed in an excellent location. The feel of the apocalypse is real; nothing feels cheap or hokey. You’ll feel the raw and elemental nature of the new world that Juliette lives in. The menace is imminent as she races to make it back safely. If you’ve ever played the video game Dying Light, you’ll know that vibe.

The Monster (Javier Botet, IT and The Conjuring 2) is straight nightmare fuel to behold. The creature design is stomach-churning and warped, as if Freddy Krueger had a love child with a bipedal spider/alien hybrid. The blind white stare and alternation between two-legged and four-legged motion is properly hideous.

I know I’ve said this before, but Botet is the go-to for freaky, spindly, cracky-crawly creatures and instantly enhances the scare value of any movie. Only he can play these parts. Otherwise you would be looking at a fully CGI creature. God bless the man and his unique talents. He’s rapidly becoming the Andre the Giant of horror.

The thing with Hostile is that (much like the vegan burger you weren’t warned about) it isn’t what the trailer would lead you to believe. I understand that, though. I can’t and won’t spoil the ending, but you will understand why the drama side of the story was eschewed in favor of the horror element in both trailer and advertisement, quotes, et cetera. Some folks will surely be put off that wanted to see “Mad Max meets Resident Evil” just as some folks simply want a big, juicy beef burger.

You’ll also understand why her name is Juliette. It’s a nicely wrapped homage.

My suggestion? Try the vegan burger with an open mind. It’s not that bad. Hell, there’s even qualities to like about it if you just give it a chance.

Hostile 03 Hostile 04

Video and Audio:

Presented in a 2.39:1 widescreen aspect ratio with 5.1 surround sound, Hostile is adequate for the format. There’s some gradation to the nighttime blacks, but it’s rich enough. The sound is average; a soundbar/home theatre wouldn’t improve much.

Special Features:

None. The only options are scene selection and setup (to choose 2.0 Stereo or 5.1 Surround audio).

Hostile 05 Hostile 06

Grades:

Movie: Threestars Hostile Small
Buy Amazon Us
Video: Threestars
Audio: Twoandahalfstars
Features: Zerostars
Overall: Threestars

About The Author
Stuart Monroe
Staff Writer
Stuart D. Monroe is a man of many faces – father, husband, movie reviewer, published author of short horror, unsuccessful screenwriter (for now), rabid Clemson Tiger, Southern gentleman, and one hell of a model American who goes by the handle "Big Daddy Stu" or "Sir". He's also highly disturbed and wears that fact like a badge of honor. He is a lover of all things horror with a particular taste for the fare of the Italians and the British. He sometimes gets aroused watching the hardcore stuff, but doesn't bother worrying about whether he was a serial killer in a past life as worrying is for the weak. He was raised in the video stores of the '80s and '90s. The movie theater is his cathedral. He worships H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, and Clive Barker. When he writes, he listens obsessively to either classical music or the works of Goblin to stimulate the neural pathways. His favorite movie is Dawn of the Dead. His favorite book is IT. His favorite TV show is LOST.
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