“My name is Juliet, and I survived the apocalypse. You think I’m lucky? You’re wrong.”
Mathieu Turi‘s feature debut, the post-apocalyptic creature feature Hostile, may have only just started its festival run but audiences are responding in a big way.
The film has already won “Best Foreign Film” and “Best Makeup FX” at FilmQuest as well as the “Youth Award” at the prestigious Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival. And some big stops are yet to come including Shriekfest in L.A next week and New York City Horror Film Fest at the end of October.
But the biggest thrill for Turi is being accepted to SITGES, where Hostile will screen the 10th and 11th October.
“It’s a dream to be there with such amazing movies and directors,” Turi says. “Especially for the 50th birthday, and with master Guillermo Del Toro as President!”
The film, which follows Juliette, a young scavenger who must fight to survive in a post-apocalyptic world against hunger, thirst and, oh right, deadly creatures that only come out at night, has been a fever dream that’s haunted Turi for years now.
A veteran working behind the camera as assistant director on films like Luc Besson’s Lucy and Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds, Turi found time between blockbusters to completed the first draft of Hostile back in 2012, going onto spend another two years showing it to producers, rewriting… rinse and repeat.
“It was when I finally found Xavier Gens and these crazy and ballsy producers at Full Time Films in May 2015 at Cannes that everything clicked,“ admits Turi.
“Xavier was there from the start. He’s a real friend of mine, and also kind of a godfather to me. He introduced me to the three-headed dragon of Full Time Films, Thomas Lubeau, Eric Gendarme and Olivier Chateau. He was also very respectful of my creative process. He was never on set, never interfered. I have his trust, and it was a dream to work that way. I owe him a lot.”
While Turi won’t cop to any direct influences on the film, he admits some parallels that are impossible to ignore. “Richard Matheson’s masterpiece I am Legend is my favorite book, I read it twice a year. And also The Last of Us, which I consider the Citizen Kane of video games. The way that story is driven by character and the relationship between Joel and Ellie– I think it’s just perfect.”
As to whether there could there be a sequel if Hostile continues to wow audiences, Turi only laughs. “I suppose it would be a lie to tell you it’s never crossed my mind. Hostile is very much a one arc story but, yeah, I’ve got some ideas if I was allowed to expand the Hostile universe. Why not?“