Thursday, August 30, 2018

HOSTILE: Mathieu Turi's creature-feature-and-would-be-love-story hits home video market

Hmmm... Is there something antithetic about the use of the word hostile, or any variation of it, in your movie's title? Last year we had Hostiles, one of the year's worst, which had the theatrical audience with whom I saw the film actually cat-calling to the screen. Now this year comes HOSTILE, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi love story combo that is the worst film I've had to sit thru so far in 2018.  Bypassing theaters, where it would surely have sunk without a trace (except for angry patrons probably demanding their money back), it arrives on home video this coming Tuesday, September 4.

Written and directed by a fellow named Mathieu Turi (shown at left and with whose work I was not formerly acquainted), the movie offers us a seemingly lone survivor (below) in a post-apocalyptic desert setting, whom we eventually discover is a woman. She appears to be out stalking... what? Aliens, maybe. Clearly, there is something very bad going on out there.

Soon, an utterly unbelievable moment occurs involving a seemingly treasured photograph and the wind. This leads to the sudden crash of her vehicle, after which our heroine is injured and stranded, and spends the rest of the film reminiscing about her lost love (which we see in flashback after flashback after flashback) and/or fighting off intruders.

This is a dreadful idea, and the movie that contains it proves even worse. Those flashbacks are mostly awful -- the first one (a meet-cute in an art gallery, shown below) isn't half bad -- cliche-ridden and ultra-obvious. Further, they drain much of the suspense from the present-day goings-on.

The love of our heroine's life turns out to be none other than Grégory Fitoussi (above and below, left), that tall-dark-and-handsome hunk from French TV's Spiral series. M. Fitoussi provides the most professional performance, though even he cannot rise above the so-so-to-not-so script.

Leading lady Brittany Ashworth (above and below) is also faced with the problem of surmounting a bad idea, badly done. In the present-day mode, she mostly suffers and threatens, rather tiresomely; the flashbacks are even worse.

To the writer/director's credit, he does not spell out every last detail but allows us to piece together what has happened to the former world. Unfortunately, what we do put together doesn't seen all that plausible: a "gas" accident has turned much of the population into these weirdo creatures? Oh, well. At least they're not zombies. (Well, not exactly...)

The surprise ending will probably have given itself away (to some of you, at least) earlier on, and instead of being at all moving will seem merely ridiculous. Reading the end credit "thank-yous" from the director, however, may make you kind of sad. He seems genuinely grateful to so many people. If only the result were a better film.

From 4DIGITAL MEDIA (but good luck trying to find the film on the company's web site) and running 83 minutes, Hostile hits the street this coming Tuesday, September 4 -- for purchase and/or rental.

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