Hostile review: A strong start from young filmmaker.
Director: Nathan Ambrosioni
Cast: Luna Belan, Julie Venturelli, Nathan Ambrosioni
Running Time: 89 minutes
Synopsis: Emilie and Anna are orphaned sisters. Taken in by a new foster mother, events spiral out of control after a visit from a strange figure.
Hostile is a French film directed by Nathan Ambrosioni who, at only fourteen, is easily the youngest director to bring a film to this year’s Frightfest. And he doesn’t stop at just directing either, he also wrote and starred in Hostile.
So what has the young mind dreamt up? Anna and Emilie are orphaned teenage sisters. They move in with their new adoptive mother Meredith, but strange things start happening and the girls’ behaviour becomes more than a little odd.
Hostile is quite an accomplished film, and not just because of the director’s tender age. Telling the story of two orphaned sisters Hostile spends a big portion of it’s short run time giving us daylight scares. Despite set in the daytime (possibly due to the fact that the director and the leading actresses are all minors) the atmosphere doesn’t suffer. In fact some of the scariest moments are in broad daylight; one scene set in a bedroom gave genuine chills.
Part conventional film, part found footage, Hostile has obviously been inspired by the likes of Paranormal Activity but don’t hold that against it. Unfortunately, towards the end, the narrative starts to lose it’s way a little and starts to fall into some of the pitfalls common to this type of horror, but the opening third or so is very strong.
Whilst most spend their teenage years with a head in a book or down the park with a bottle of White Lightening, Ambrosioni has been hard at work creating a film with a genuine sense of suspense.
With some clever camera-work in both the found footage and conventional segments, Hostile showcases a great breadth of creative and visual scope for someone so young with a long future ahead.
Hostile review, Kat Hughes, August 2015.
Hostile screens as part of the Frightfest programme on Monday 31st August.