Hostile review: A woman must survive a night in a desert after a car crash, but she’s not alone.
Hostile review by Kat Hughes.
Post-apocalyptic worlds have become a staple of both film and television. We’ve seen just about every story possible take place under this guise, but director Mathieu Turi may just have found a new story to tell within its confines. Juliette (Brittany Ashworth) is out on a scouting mission when she finds herself trapped alone in the barren desert. Society has crumbled, the majority of the population having been wiped out by a worldwide epidemic. The new world landscape is littered with cannibals and strange aggressive creatures with a disliking of light. After staying out later than she should, trying to salvage much needed supplies, Juliette takes a shortcut across the desert and ends up in a car wreck. Realising that her leg is broken, Juliette hunkers down to survive until the rescue mission arrives, however, it soon becomes apparent that one of the creatures is lurking outside.
Those expecting a single situational cat and mouse game between woman and zombie may be bitterly disappointed. Unfolding simultaneously with our car wreck story, is the story of Juliette’s past. As she finds herself trapped, she is tormented by her previous life. What follows is much more of a story of relationships and human’s natural talent for destruction. In many ways, it’s actually the scenes of Juliet trapped in the car that feel like the flashbacks and sub-plot. We join a younger Juliet, a heroin addict with no life plan, as she chances upon French gallery owner, Jack (Grégory Fitoussi), and the two embark on a tumultuous romance.
It’s a subdued and poignant tale, our leads have an easy chemistry and you instantly believe in these characters and want them to succeed. Given the landscape of the world, it’s pretty easy to see the tragedy ahead, but it’s brutal and heart-breaking. This tale is punctuated by the Juliette of the present as she fights off the circling creature. Here we get our instances of much needed action. Either story alone might have become a little tedious in paces, by blending them together, Turi has created a story that is always engaging and never dull.
At the centre of our world is Brittany Ashworth’s Juliette, a complex and determined woman. Juliet is a prickly character, one that is beautifully complimented by the sensible and stable Jack. Jack is a true cinematic romantic hero, and Grégory Fitoussi is perfectly cast as the French gentleman. Rounding out our limited cast is Javier Botet. As usual Botet is on creepy creature duty, and as always, pulls off a nightmare-inducing performance.
Quiet and well thought-out, Hostile is a new and interesting entry into the post-apocalypse story. Director Mathieu Turi displays a lot of talent with this emotional study into human relationships and the drive to survive.
Hostile review by Kat Hughes, October 2017.
Hostile screened as part of the Horror Channel Frightfest Halloween 2017 programme.