FrightFest 2011: ‘Vile’ – a hybrid of ‘Cube’, ‘Saw’ and ‘Hostel’

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Vile (World Premiere)

Directed by Taylor Sheridan

Written by Eric Jay Beck and Rob Kowsaluk

Starring Eric Jay Beck, April Matson, Akeem Smith,

USA, 2011

Vile was our late-night film on the second day of FRIGHTFEST this year and it claimed to be a hybrid of Cube, Saw and Hostel. But let’s make something clear, it has none of the verve or intellect of the former two titles and little of the polish of the latter. It’s merely yet another stupid, brain-dead, ugly little film where a bunch of people (mostly strangers) wake up in a room (which in this instance turns out to be a house) and they are forced to hurt each other in an attempt to win their freedom. There’s no twist here or extra-layer of invention, the bunch of unlikeable protagonists are all encumbered with a pair of tubes and vials that are attached to the top of their spine. If they remove them – then they die. The only way to escape is to fill the vials with a particular fluid created by the brain when the body is subjected to extreme pain.

To be fair to the writers; this sounds like the ultimate set-up for a torture porn movie but they seem to have been so proud of themselves from this initial (obviously exhausting) burst of imagination that they then forgot to come up with anything remotely interesting for the trapped ‘innocents’ to do with this killer concept and instead we’re just forced to watch some of the most unlikeable characters I’ve seen in years run around a house, screaming at each other, comedically ripping off fingernails, and shutting their hands in doors. 

I’ll be honest; I’ll take this almost endearingly misguided farce any day over the obnoxiously arrogant, po-faced, ugly Saw sequels (from part 2 onwards that is) as it did keep me smirking throughout so I did get some enjoyment out of it. Plus it looked ok I guess.

Regardless, this is a movie only for torture-porn fans who have somehow not been satiated by the endless droves of similar titles that stumble, boorishly straight-to-dvd each year. So pick up a copy and then probably check yourself in for some therapy as if you actually enjoy these kinds of films then there’s probably something a little wrong with you.

– Al White. 

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