Vile starts off in a pretty stereotypical fashion. It starts off by following a group of four young adults as they are just about to wrap up a camping trip in the woods. On the way home they encounter a beautiful blond woman whose car has broken down. The “leader” of the group offers her a ride and wouldn’t you know, the hitchhiker ends up kidnapping the entire group after knocking them out with some kind of sleeping gas.
The group wakes up inside an abandoned home. With them are six other individuals who have also been kidnapped. By watching a video-tape, the group discovers that they have been implanted with a strange device attached to the back of the heads that will extract a special chemical compound that the brain releases when the body is in pain. Why? Well, it is because this chemical is being used to concoct a new type of black-market drug. The video-tape explains that they have 24 hours to gather a specific amount of the chemical least they die. They must now torture one another in hopes of filling the vials before it is too late.
I rarely use the term “Torture Porn” when I describe a movie, but this is one of the very rare exceptions. Obviously borrowing a lot of elements from the SAW and HOSTEL franchises, this is an unflinching torture marathon that pits a bunch of people against one another. However, I do not consider this a bad thing. I will not judge a movie simply on its premise nor on its obvious copy-cat nature of other films.
Vile actually has a lot of good things going for it. For one, they have a rather solid cast of characters. The actors are able to portray fear, paranoia, and anger rather well. I’ve seen a lot of low-budget films before and Vile is up there with its acting. There are moments where I believe the absolute terror some of these characters are portraying and you cannot help but understand why some of them are so hesitant to torture themselves. One character especially has been written so beautifully that you cannot help but to hate them. I was actually rooting for the moment when that specific person had to be put under the knife and the movie did not disappoint.
Another thing I really liked was the fact that the characters worked together. They did not just go to town all Battle Royale-style. They wanted to keep each other alive so the methods of torture were (at first) just intended to maim, not disable.
In terms of the violence; Vile was able to maintain a balance between showing-gore and leaving it to your imagination. The sound effects they used really heightened the sense of pain the characters were going through. There were moments where the camera pans away but we hear the sound of flesh ripping and bones cracking. These moments work beautifully as it leaves you with your imagination.
When we do get to see the violence, it is unflinching and cringe-worthy. Without spoiling much, I will just list some of the tools used to produce pain: Pliers, a Manual Drill, an Iron, and a Screwdriver. There are a lot more, but those are a good example of what to expect.
The movie is not flawless, however. There are moments in the film that drag on for far too long. One scene in particular is when two of the girls are making lots for others to draw in order to determine the torturing order. You get the idea of how they are handling it within the first minute but the scene just drags on and on. It was probably only three to five minutes in length but it was not necessary at all. It just slowed the pace down at this point in time.
The biggest issue stems from the ending. The ending is very stereotypical that it just falls flat on its face. It’s one of those endings that you’ve seen hundreds upon hundreds of times and you find yourself wishing the directory and writer just went a different direction.
Vile is a clear copy-cat of more successful Torture Films but that doesn’t make it a bad movie. There are slow moments in the film and the ending could have been handled better but overall the movie did what it set out to do. I was rooting for the characters, grimacing at the torture, and hoping specific characters were slaughtered. All in All , Vile wasn’t bad. I’d get it for five dollars and show it off to my friends during a Halloween party but I wouldn’t spend any more than that for this film.