Review: ‘Hostile’ Does a Delicate Dance Between Love Story and Horror
In Hostile, a worldwide epidemic has killed most of the planet’s population. The few survivors struggle to find food and shelter. But they are not alone.
On her way back from a scavenging mission, Juliette (Brittany Ashworth) has a terrible accident. Stuck in her car, with a broken leg, in the middle of an unforgiving desert, she must survive the perils of the post-apocalypse while a strange creature prowls around.
On paper, it sounds like a fairly typical post-apocalyptic action-horror blend. But writer/director Mathieu Turi enriches the parched wasteland with a sincere backstory that explores the role of fate in the film. It builds a slow burn that reaches a rough yet beautifully emotional climax.
The story is told in two interjecting parts (with stunning cinematography by Vincent Veillard-Baron). The sun-scorched present follows Juliette (Brittany Ashworth, The Crucifixion) as she travels alone through the desolate expanse.
Flashes of the past explore Juliette’s personal journey in rich, vivid color tones that thematically compliment the development of her relationship with gallery owner Jack (Grégory Fitoussi, G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra).
I must admit it took me a few turns to get used to the sudden change of scenery, but once I realized that the “flashbacks” were alternating chapters in the story, it immediately made sense. Structurally, it’s kind of like a post-apocalyptic Gone Girl if the characters actually liked each other. It’s a literary trait you don’t often see in film, but Turi skillfully weaves the story together.
Juliette’s present chapters put Ashworth in the spotlight and she rises to the challenge. When we first meet her, we immediately see that she’s confident, competent, and completely independent.
Her first on-screen encounter with one of the Reapers visually reveals absolutely nothing (the camera rotates around the RV that serves as their fighting ring), but this simple action communicates a lot to the audience. Sometimes action is best left up to imagination. With the RV’s movements and the sounds we hear from inside, we learn that killing the Reapers is not easy, and we retain the image of Juliette as a deeply human character.
We can hear her struggle as she attacks, and we hear the Reaper as a fierce opponent. But we don’t see a stylized, overly choreographed fight. Juliette is not an archetypal super-soldier heroine, she’s just adjusted to the “new normal”.
The Reapers featured in the film are played by the wonderful Javier Botet, whose work you have definitely seen before (though you might not know it). His job is to be completely unrecognizable and regularly terrifying, and he’s very good at it. You know him as The Crooked Man in The Conjuring 2, the Hobo in Andy Muschietti’s IT, Mama in Mama, Niña Medeiros in [REC], and KeyFace in Insidious: The Last Key.
Botet brings an otherworldly quality to the Reapers that’s both fascinating and unnerving. You can’t look away.
Hostile is a combination of a love story and horror, not one over the other. Of course, there are a large number of horror films that include elements of a budding romance. But it’s how Hostile balances the two elements that makes it stand out.
Like Juliette’s relationship with Jack, there’s a delicate dance between the two. A push and pull. Admittedly, they do step on their partner’s toes from time to time with a clunky misstep. But ultimately (and to continue the dance analogy), it feels completely different from the choreography we’re used to in the horror genre.
Hostile Arrives On VOD And Digital HD On Leading Digital Platforms And On DVD On September 4, 2018
Spirit Halloween Unveils ‘Horror Babies’ Including Ghostface, Pennywise, and More
Spirit Halloween is unveiling the goods a bit earlier than usual this year. For example, these little horror babies that give us infantile versions of Ghostface, Leatherface, Pennywise and Sam from Trick r’ Treat. We were already excited when they announced all-new Killer Klowns From Outer Space items, but these horror babies are making sure that they bring the goods even earlier.
The breakdown of Spirt Halloween Horror Babies goes like this:
- Trick’ r Treat Sam Horror Baby: Equipped with his signature lollipop, this Sam baby will never get fussy – as long as his new family follows the rules of Halloween.
- Scream Ghost Face Horror Baby: Perfect for classic slasher fans, this sweet Ghost Face baby comes equipped with a prop bloody knife for a baby so cute he’s to die for.
- Texas Chainsaw Massacre Leatherface Horror Baby: Featuring his signature mallets, fans will need to be careful to pacify this Leatherface baby if they want to avoid getting whacked.
- IT Pennywise Horror Baby: Straight from the sewers of Derry, this Pennywise baby is sure to give any guests a sweet scare.
Horror Babies are looking fantastic and bring that very cool bit of nostalgia with them. From Ghostface to Pennywise the lineup is looking fantastic.
Each of these hauntingly adorable Horror Baby is available for purchase for $49.99 on SpiritHalloween.com, now while supplies last.
‘Talk to Me’ A24 Trailer is Chilling Us to the Bone With New Approach to Possession
The very chilling, Talk to Me reinvents the possession genre by turning the entire genre on its ear and dropping the beat on the terror. Each moment spent in the trailer is very intense and full of atmosphere.
There is a bit of Breakfast Club combined with this intensely moody possession thriller.
The synopsis for Talk to Me goes like this
When a group of friends discover how to conjure spirits using an embalmed hand, they become hooked on the new thrill, until one of them goes too far and unleashes terrifying supernatural forces.
The film stars Sophie Wilde, Miranda Otto, Alexandra Jensen, Joe Bird, Otis Dhanji, Zoe Terakes, and Chris Alosio.
Talk to Me arrives July 28, 2023.
Nicolas Cage Plays a Very Wicked Devil in ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ Trailer
Joel Kinnaman plays alongside the very wicked Nicolas Cage! Why so wicked you ask? Well cause this time around he is playing none other than the devil himself and he is bringing all of his wicked charm and red hair with it. That’s right, the first trailer for the very off the wall Sympathy for the Devil is here.
Okay, is he really the devil? Well, you are going to have to watch to find out. But, it doesn’t change the fact that this whole thing looks like its a blast out of hell and a ton of fun.
The synopsis for Sympathy for the Devil goes like this:
After being forced to drive a mysterious passenger (Nicolas Cage) at gunpoint, a man (Joel Kinnaman) finds himself in a high-stakes game of cat and mouse where it becomes clear that not everything is as it seems.
Sympathy for the Devil arrives July 28, 2023!