Vile (2011) Movie Review
Director: Taylor Sheridan
Writers: Eric Jay Beck, Rob Kowsaluk
Starring: Eric Jay Beck, April Matson and Akeem Smith
Reviewed by Char Hardin
2.5 Out of 5
“Pain will be the only way out”
New release Tuesday has VILE hitting the shelves and the virtual shelves where ever DVDs are sold. Fans of Saw and Hostel may like this torture film where a group of strangers are gassed and taken to an unknown location where they are imprisoned for over 22 hours of terror and excruciating PAIN.
Two couples Nick (Eric Jay Beck), Tayler (April Matson), Tony (Akeem Smith) and Kai (Elisha Skorman) are enjoying a weekend camping out and the viewer learns one of the girls is pregnant and she is waiting for the perfect time to tell her partner. Unfortunately the time just wasn’t right and she holds on to her secret a little while longer. The couples stop for gas and the driver Nick is approached by a beautiful woman (McKenzie Westmore the soap star of one of my favorite soaps, PASSIONS) she tells him, her car ran out of gas and asked if she could get a ride back to her car? Nick agreed to take the woman to her car, something that irks his girlfriend Tayler (April Matson) when she finds out about the arrangement.
As the couples figure out later, the woman or “Cougar” as Tayler referred to (Westmore) was not what she appeared to be and the friends wake up after receiving a sampling of the woman’s perfume. The friends are not alone…there are five others in the room. They are as confused as what and how they got there as Nick, Tayler, Kai and Tony. They discover a video message and a countdown that began when the video was first played by the other five captives. The video is of a woman (Maria Olsen) welcoming the group to her home. She tells of the device she has implanted on all of them and the purpose of it. The device is to “siphon” off the chemicals from the brain that only happens when a person is tortured. She apologizes for the “uncomfortable circumstances that have brought you here”. The way out is through pain…excruciating pain and in order to get out they must work together.
Whilst I am not a huge fan of torture films…I do like innovative methods of creating gory scenes, so that may be hypocrisy; however the one aspect missing from this torture film was rape. I do not like torture films where rape is used to defile the victim and eradicate their mental stability. The reason for the abductions is clear from the onset the viewer sees a clinical torture and when the video is played, it makes clearer what was shown in the opening scenes.
One can definitely see shades of Hostel/Saw in the movie. I liked VILE’s gory scenes. These characters were quite creative in doling out punishment to each other and one even got carried away. Tara was so brutal in the first person being tortured, that I couldn’t help but hope she got as good as she gave. She was THE most obnoxious out of the group and well…you know what they say about “what goes around comes around.”
Probably the only thing I didn’t like about the story was the characters. I wasn’t given enough background on them to really care what happened to them. Other than knowing Tayler was pregnant and she and Nick were in love…there just wasn’t much else to go on and I think the writer could have given a little more in his character development, by adding details. Also more to operation of the storyline. There just seemed to be something missing in the story.
I would have liked more scenes with Maria Olsen who delivered a happy faced video message that ended with a less than cheery look. Maria is very versatile in her performances, and she is very articulate at playing wicked characters. The story itself has a few holes that could have been filled in more and given some better ending especially in the connection between Greg (Rob Kirkland) and Julian (Ian Bohen). For me, it felt left in the dark about their being involved with the other strangers. There were a few plot twists, that I liked and the very last scene was Karma at its finest. It’s worth a look and I recommend it as a rental. Please note, I compared them to Hostel/Saw both mainstream stylized horror films, Vile’s budget may reflect a less than polished appearance. Its special effects was not lacking in the film…its story did.
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