Hostage (2021)

Hostage (2021) MOVIE DETAILS
Name: Hostage
Year: 2021
Country: Canada
Director: Eddie Augustin
Main cast: Nicole Henderson, Nico DeCastris, Simon Pelletier, Daryl Marks
Runtime: 82 minutes
Production company: Anxious Eddy Pictures, Rev13Films


Hostage (2021) is one of those stories that since the early moments you know it won’t end well. A very few minutes have passed and we can already see none of the characters is innocent. Everybody is a criminal in their own way, or end their very limited amount of screen time dead. So, we probably shouldn’t take sides, because this is a wicked obscure thriller everybody will end up six feet underground.

For his first feature film, co-writer and director Eddie Augustin has chosen a story that is based on the characters, their long conversations, and the way they interact with each other. A noir cinema exercise, with the obvious reference of Quentin Tarantino’s debut Reservoir Dogs (1992) (not only because of the endless dialogs, but also the dude tied to a chair, the dinner scene, and the fact that the protagonists don’t hesitate much when it’s the time to pull the trigger). But, sadly, Augustin is not Tarantino, and many times those long scenes get repetitive and tedious, too redundant, almost unnecessary, and that can pull the interest away from the audience.

The intentions of the filmmakers and cast are honest, and they have faith in the movie. That is what keeps Hostage (2021) alive, despite the numerous script, acting, and directing limitations. The story is simple but that is what makes it attractive. And the whole thing is irrigated with several original plot twists, some of them actually surprising, candy for our eyes and so necessary to keep the viewer into the story.

But, despite the creative and budgetary limitations, Hostage (2021) has a personality of its own. In the visual aspects, the decoration, camera work, and illumination are managed to keep the attention away from the environment and focus on the characters. But that doesn’t mean this is one of those too dark and close-up frame movies where you don’t see shit, here we are forced to keep our senses on the actors, what they say and what they do. Like if we were in a theater play. All of them with their own identity. The house invader that very soon loses its position of power and threat to become a fearful victim, the father who pretends to be in control but only wants to please the wife and daughter, the bossy mother who is cold and calculating, and the daughter who exploits her fragile, sexy and innocent appearance hiding a perverse and merciless soul.

Hostage (2021) is made by a group of people with a passion for dark thriller cinema. It tries to be shocking and wicked, but it doesn’t take off completely. Still, it is based on a good idea and it has a few enjoyable moments, so it can be an interesting watch for the fans of the genre. And it might have a cult-film potential, only time will say. I enjoyed it and didn’t forget it right away, so that’s a good thing when a movie stays in your head for days with your brain savoring your favorite moments over and over again.

RATE: 5/10