I feel hostile after watching Hostile

Hostile is a Post-Apocalyptic survival story that constantly gets confused and thinks that it’s a love story.

Brittany Ashworth stars as Juliet, a young woman living in a wasteland after an unspecified apocalypse. She’s a scavenger, gathering supplies in the desert and trying to avoid some sort of creatures that will only be hinted around for most of the movie. The director has done a good job of not showing us too much of the monsters up front. This builds some suspense. 

 It is made clear that she is part of a large group that still has some sort of grasp on civilization. They use vehicles and radios and a helicopter is mentioned at one point, although we never get to see it.

The inciting incident happens when Juliet, out looking for supplies, takes her eyes off the road and loses control of her truck. It flips over and she breaks her leg in a very gruesome manner leaving her trapped in the upside down vehicle. One of the “monsters” quickly appears to harass her.  

It takes a while, but eventually we see that the creature looks like this:

That will be important later, friends.

If the rest of the movie was limited to this location and the events that play out there, this movie would be something. Ashworth is very good as Juliet, and we believe her plight unquestioningly. The monster is creepy, and gives us true menace. Having her confined and trapped lends a level of claustrophobia to the proceedings that helps to ramp up the tension. Sadly, this isn’t what the movie is actually concerned with. It really cares about the rather dumb love story that we get via unending flashbacks to before the world ended.

In the flashbacks we meet Jack, played by  Grégory Fitoussi . He’s a rich art gallery owner who meets Juliet when she pretends to be interested in art in order to escape a rain storm.  He asks if she likes Bacon while she is pretending to admire a painting (by Francis bacon, of course) and she responds by saying “I’m a vegetarian”. It’s a meet-cute so cute one could gag on it.

We learn that she’s a junkie who uses heroin, crack, and the devil’s lettuce. Jack sets out to save her from herself by kidnapping her. Of course, she falls for him hard. Is this offensive? I feel like it is. Like, maybe keeping someone captive, even for their own good, then coaxing them into a romantic relationship is maybe just a tad problematic. What do I know, though.

Anyway, they buy a mansion and she gets pregnant, then miscarries, and they fight , and the world ends and Jack dies (or does he?) and over half the film’s run time is wasted in this meaningless drivel and why can’t we just get back to the real story which is her trapped in that over turned truck? I’m sorry, friends, I am getting worked up here.

There was a moment early in the flashbacks where I thought that this movie was trying to do something similar to Incident On and Off a Mountain Road (which you should see). In that film the flashbacks to the heroine’s relationship show how that situation prepared her for her current predicament. No such luck, though.

Watching this  reminded me of the first time I watched Saw. It was like the people responsible did not have faith in their own concept. Saw was a solid film when it was in that room with those two guys. Everytime it jumped out of the room to follow the cops, it became just another direct-to-video level potboiler. This film is worse. At least what the Saw cops were up to was genuinely germane to that story. This love story is just dumb navel gazing.

The end of Hostile, which you may see coming about a mile away, is so dumb that it made me ashamed to be human. If you don't want the ending ruined, this is your warning. Duck out now...

Spoiler: the monster pictured above, the one that has been trying to eat Juliet all night is, wait for it  . . .

JACK! Here beloved. They suddenly recognize each other, embrace, and then she puts a bullet through both their brains as the sun rises. That's how they decided to end this mess of a movie, folks.