Monday, September 3, 2012

Vile (2011)


Written by Eric Jay Beck & Rob Kowsaluk
Directed by Taylor Sheridan

Nick...Eric Jay Beck
Tayler...April Matson
Tony...Akeem Smith
Sam...Greg Cipes

"The root of violence is science without humanity..."--Mahatma Gandhi

A group of attractive young people (of course) awaken to find themselves prisoners in a mysterious house with no means of escape. They are each outfitted with new accouterments--electronic devices attached to the base of their skulls--and a recording on a television screen alerts them of their task.

In order to escape, they must hurt themselves and each other. The chemicals that the brain produces when in pain are collected by the devices, and when it collects a predetermined amount, the doors will be opened. Fail to do it in time, and everybody dies.

Quite quickly, simple beatings evolve into full-on torture sessions--both voluntary and otherwise--as they are all forced to come to terms with what they are willing to do to survive.  The reasoning behind the whole ordeal is really pretty stupid, but it's a minor plot point at best.  Most of the time is spent with the characters interacting in increasing twisted ways, offering up the occasional flinch-worthy onscreen moment.

Strangers held in a house by an evil mastermind, forced to do unspeakable things in order to survive--sounds an awful lot like Saw 2, doesn't it? And no, there aren't enough distinguishing characteristics to set it too far apart. In fact, if Jigsaw mated with the Hostel franchise, it would look a lot like Vile.

Just like if David Spade mated with Shaun White, he would look a lot like this guy.

This is unapologetic torture porn, no doubt about it. There's no implied moral, no life lesson to be learned. This is shock and awe for shock and awe's sake. And I don't fault it for that. It is what it is, and doesn't put on too many fronts or pretensions.

It's down and dirty, guilty entertainment. It's not for everyone, and it's not for every day, but sometimes you just want to squirm while watching other people scream, and Vile has that in spades.

Not Rated
United States


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