Interview: Writer/Director Mathieu Turi on ‘Hostile’
Writer/director Mathieu Turi will be the first to tell you how lucky he was in creating his first feature length horror film, Hostile, which will debut this week on VOD.
The filmmaker who has previous work has predominantly been as assistant director or second unit director on films like GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra and Turf, had two short films under his belt when he decided to it was time to create a feature of his own.
That first short film, Sons of Chaos, was set in a post-apocalyptic world and according to Turi, it was almost video game-like with little character development. In the second, Broken, he explored the relationship of two people trapped in an elevator together, developing their characters and learning to write their interactions.
In Hostile, he combined those two types of stories to create something all together different that has both heart and genuine scares.
The film takes place in a world where vicious creatures stalk human beings. Some of those people have formed communities in order to survive. A woman named Juliette finds herself stranded with a seriously broken leg after an accident coming back from a supply run only to find that one of the creatures has been stalking her and is seemingly waiting for the right moment to attack.
“I needed the backstory to fill the post-apocalyptic story of Juliette in the film,” Turi told iHorror in a recent interview. “So I began to write flashbacks so that the audience could understand and care for her character.”
Turi wrote a brilliant script, and began the process of bringing it to life. The process would take four years, but the story he wrote attracted talented actors right away.
In fact, he barely had a rough draft of the story when he approached creature actor extraordinaire Javier Botet to play the role of his creature.
“I believe it was Mama where I saw him, and I knew that he was perfect to play the creature I was creating,” the director explained. “So I sent him an email with the story attached. I said to him that I had no money, no producers, no finished script, and I had no idea how long it would be before we started but asked him to please consider doing it.”
Botet was impressed with the story and immediately wrote back to Turi telling him that he didn’t care if it was 5 or 6 years before the film began shooting the director should call him because he wanted to be a part of the project.
“By that time, Javier was much more famous. He was making Alien: Covenant, IT, and Insidious 4, and I really thought there was no chance he could do the film because we couldn’t move our schedule around,” Turi said. “But he told me that he would make the film because he wanted to do it and he’d made a promise.”
Botet flew from Los Angeles to Morocco to film his scenes only to return to California to pick back up the work he was doing there.
The actor was also crucial to the process of creating the look of the character and Turi was excited to have an actor so dedicated to making the creature more than a monster.
“Javier brings so much humanity and presence to what he is doing,” he said. “You almost think you’re seeing CGI but everything is absolutely real.”
Meanwhile, the director also found his actors for Juliette and Jack, the man with whom she shared a life before the world went to hell around them.
“Brittany [Ashworth] was perfect for my Juliette,” he pointed out. “She had the presence to carry the film, but there was also a vulnerability there that could make the audience love her. I had worked on another film with Gregory [Fitoussi], and he also just seemed to make sense in the role. They both responded to what they read so well.”
One of the most fascinating things about the film is that every action and interaction seems very deliberate. There are clues hidden in plain sight for the viewer, though they might not pick them up the first time through. Turi says the films definitely benefits from a second viewing, and says that his storytelling was influenced by M. Night Shayamalan.
“I’m a big fan of his [Shayamalan’s] movies,” Turi explained. “If you watch The Sixth Sense, he tells you everything you need to know to understand what is happening throughout the film, but you become so involved in the story that you don’t see them the first time through. He doesn’t cheat his audience. He gives you everything, and that’s the kind of filmmaker I want to be.”
Seeing Hostile, I can almost guarantee Mathieu Turi has both the directing and writing talent to reach that goal. In fact, he’s well on his way already.
You can see Hostile on VOD starting September 4, 2018. In the meantime, check out the trailer below!
Nick Groff Reveals “Truth” Behind ‘Ghost Adventures’ & Zak Bagans
It could be argued that the American paranormal documentary and reality TV phenomenon started with Ghost Adventures back in 2004 when then-unknown investigator Zak Bagans and his team filmed a documentary that allegedly revealed actual footage of paranormal activity on camera. That movie wouldn’t become widely available to viewers until it aired on the SyFy (nee Sci-Fi) Channel in 2007.
The movie, titled Ghost Adventures, inspired a television reality show of the same name that premiered on a different network, The Travel Channel, in 2008.
It must be noted that the hugely popular paranormal investigation reality show Ghost Hunters was already a mainstay on SyFy since 2004 and would go on to span 11 seasons.
Since then both original shows have found new life on Discovery+ with each brand having spin-offs and new seasons.
Lately, Ghost Adventures has become the topic of rumors and harsh accusations, especially against its host Zak Bagans. From allegations of career sabotage to being hard to work with, Bagans has recently been vilified by some people formerly on his team.
One of the original creators of Ghost Adventures, Nick Groff went on Twitter this week to speak about his former business partner, and let’s just say Bagans didn’t fare well. Groff doesn’t mention Bagans by name in the video, he often refers to him vaguely, as in, “the host who I was working with.”
IT’S TIME FOR THE TRUTH pic.twitter.com/9BXKieDzVZ— Nick Groff (@NickGroff_) March 19, 2023
To be fair, the paranormal behind-the-scenes drama is really nothing compared to the success that the original Ghost Adventures team wrought. Since Bagans was the face of the show (and still is), and apparently a sex symbol in that field, it was mostly his persona that propelled the brand into reality stardom.
That isn’t to say no one else from his team didn’t work hard to make the show as iconic as it is, Groff even says he helped come up with the name. But comparatively, Bagans is like the lead singer of a rock band and his investigators just aren’t as visible.
However, Groff, having gone solo, is himself a pop culture favorite. His show Paranormal Lockdown, which he executive produced, found a huge following. Many fans were upset that it ended in 2019 as you will see in his Twitter Q&A above.
Tell us what you think of this reality drama in the comments.
‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2’ Comes to Brilliant 4K UHD From Vinegar Syndrome
Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is on its way to us from Vinegar Syndrome. The new release comes with an entire heck load of special features to boot. From new interviews with Tom Savini to Caroline Williams and more the disc is loaded with all kinds of new features to dig into. Of course, the new collection also made sure to include all the previously released special features. This makes for one hell of an absolutely complete collection.
The entire Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 experience on its own is a brilliant one. Director, Tobe Hooper took things in a vastly different level from that of the first film. Gone are the greasy, dirty, sweat-drenched Texas summers with the underlined stench of a cattle feed lot. Instead, Hooper went in a direction that underlined a comicbookish feel to the characters and the evil undeground lair in which The Saw and The Family took to hiding. It isn’t a direction everyone woul have gone with but Hooper wasn’t everyone and his brilliance shined through immensely with this gigantic choice.
The Vinegar Syndrome Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 special features include:
- 4K Ultra HD / Region A Blu-ray Set
- 4K UHD presented in High-Dynamic-Range
- Newly scanned & restored in 4K from its 35mm original camera negative
- Presented with it’s original 2.0 stereo theatrical mix
- Brand new audio commentary with film critic Patrick Bromley
- Audio commentary with director Tobe Hooper
- Audio commentary with actors Bill Moseley, Caroline Williams and special effects makeup creator Tom Savini
- Audio commentary with director of photography Richard Kooris, production designer Cary White, script supervisor Laura Kooris and property master Michael Sullivan
- “The Saw and Savini” – a brand new 2022 interview with special effects makeup creator Tom Savini
- “Stretch Lives!” – a brand new 2022 interview with actress Caroline Williams
- “Serving Tom” – a brand new 2022 interview with special makeup effects artist Gabe Bartalos
- “Remember The Alamo” – a brand new 2022 interview with actor Kirk Sisco
- “Texas Blood Bath” – a brand new 2022 interview with special makeup effects artist Barton Mixon
- “Die Yuppie Scum” – a brand new 2022 interview with actor Barry Kinyon
- “Leatherface Revisited” – a brand new 2022 interview with actor Bill Johnson
- “Beneath The Battle Land: Remembering The Lair” – a brand new 2022 featurette with actors Caroline Williams, Barry Kinyon, Bill Johnson, and Kirk Sisco
- Never-before-seen extended interviews with director Tobe Hooper and co-producer Cynthia Hargrave – from director Mark Hartley’s documentary “Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films”
- “It Runs In The Family” – an 85-minute documentary on the making of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
- “IRITF Outtakes” – extended interviews with L.M. Kit Carson and Lou Perryman
- “House Of Pain” – an interview with makeup effects artists John Vulich, Bart Mixon, Gabe Bartalos and Gino Crognale
- “Yuppie Meat” – an interview with actors Chris Douridas and Barry Kinyon
- “Cutting Moments” – an interview with editor Alain Jakubowicz
- “Behind The Mask” – an interview with stunt man and Leatherface performer Bob Elmore
- “Horror’s Hallowed Grounds” – a featurette on the locations of the film
- “Still Feelin’ The Buzz” – an interview with author and film historian Stephen Thrower
- 43 minute behind-the-scenes video footage shot during the film’s production
- Alternate Openingl
- Deleted Scenes
- Original theatrical trailers for U.S. and Japan
- TV Spots
- Extensive promotional still and image gallery
- Reversible cover artwork
- English SDH subtitles
Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 is coming to 4K UHD from Vinegar Syndome. Head over HERE to place your order before they are all gone. (They are selling out fast!)
‘Bambi’ Meets ‘Apocolypse Now’ Fever Dream ‘Unicorn Wars’ Coming to Blu-Ray
Director, Alberto Vázquez brings the animated fever dream Unicorn Wars to life in a must-see spectacle and surprisingly heavy political statement. Fantastic Fest 2022 selected Unicorn Wars as part of its programming and it didn’t let down in the heavy genre fest. The film which is best described as Apocalypse Now meets Bambi is an incredible film with surprisingly heavy drama for being such a squishy, and happy animation style. That juxtaposition makes for an incredible and singular viewing. Luckily for us, the radical experience is coming to Blu-Ray from G Kids and Shout! Factory.
The synopsis for Unicorn Wars goes like this:
For ages, teddy bears have been locked in an ancestral war against their sworn enemy, the unicorns, with the promise that victory will complete the prophecy and usher in a new era. Aggressive, confident teddy bear Bluet and his sensitive, withdrawn brother Tubby could not be more different. As the rigors and humiliation of teddy bear bootcamp turn to the psychedelic horrors of a combat tour in the Magic Forest, their complicated history and increasingly strained relationship will come to determine the fate of the entire war.
Unicorn Wars Bonus Features
- Interview with the director Alberto Vásquez
- “Working in Blender” featurette
- Feature-length animatic
Unicorn Wars arrives on Blu-Ray beginning May 9. Are you excited about the insanely over-the-top experience? Let us know in the comments section.