“You have got to be f*****g kidding me! Fer Chrissakes…”
Cut back to the van where Juliette has dislodged herself from the steering wheel just as she is discovered by a hungry reaper. This excellently art-directed, extended sequence — with our protagonist trying to stay alive while confined in a poorly secured space — was the most effective and unsettling part of the film. With echoes of the Ryan-Reynolds-trapped-in-a-coffin flick Buried, Juliette fights to stay alive until the morning as the reaper and a would-be cannibal (after all, any post-apocalyptic flick worth its salt has gotta have cannibals) are closing in to seal her doom. The filmmaker gets a lot of mileage by having a wounded protagonist trapped in such a predicament. As her bullets are expended, and survival schemes thwarted, it doesn’t look good for our heroine. But she summons up her inner Sigourney Weaver just when all hope seems lost.
Now, if only the filmmaker had rolled the credits at this point, this would have been a tidy little indie horror film (Eurotrash boyfriend/husband and all), well worth an evening’s rental. But the coda that Turi stacks on the end is so hamfisted that I literally yelled out, “You have got to be f*****g kidding me!” Fer Chrissakes, where were the producers whose job it is to steer a director away from such pretentious narrative cliffs? All of which is a shame because in a fight between films that employ neat maudlin endings vs. ambiguous difficult closures, I’ll bet (and pony up my money) on the latter every time.
Hostile (2018) Directed by Mathieu Turi. Starring Brittany Ashworth, Grégory Fitoussi, and Javier Botet.
5 out of 10 stars