Yellowstone Meets Saw

Long before Yellowstone co-creator and mastermind Taylor Sheridan hit it big in Hollywood he directed Vile, a pastiche of torture porn luminaries Saw and Hostel. Starring Eric Beck and April Matson, the ensemble indie thriller places a group of strangers into a horrific situation in which they need to torture their fellow victims if they want to escape their imprisonment alive. Graphic and gruesome, the bloody film explores how callously strangers treat their fellow man when their own lives are on the line.

Happy couple Tayler (April Matson) and Nick (Eric Beck) are abducted along with six other people. They find themselves imprisoned in a house unable to escape, cut off from the outside world. Just how far will each person go to survive this rigged game of death?

Vile is a slightly more clever take on the basic Hostel premise

“Pain will be your only way out.”

A mysterious video tells the group there is only one way they can survive. Following a twisted set of rules designed by an unseen group, they must torture each other.

Each person has been implanted with a strange device at the base of their neck, collecting chemicals produced by the human brain when subjected to severe pain and brutality. The strangers have to hit a certain threshold of pain as a group within 24 hours or they all die. Who is willing to suffer for their fellow victims and who is sadistic enough to torture the others for survival?

Vile is a slightly more clever take on the basic Hostel premise, married to the self-infliction and moral dilemma themes often found throughout the Saw franchise. As the group falls apart due to hidden alliances and betrayals, each character develops quite naturally as the situation becomes more dire.

A bit smarter than your average torture porn film, there are enough delicious twists and turns to keep the suspense afloat between the brutal sequences pulled off with practical effects. If you’re already squeamish about the genre, this isn’t necessarily a film for all audiences.

Like most indie efforts Vile is rough around the edges, a bit unpolished in both dialogue and direction. Taylor Sheridan assembles his bloody thriller piece by piece, often going for gore over coherent storytelling. The cast is solid and a great soundtrack is included with names such as Kurt Vile and Holly Golightly. Vile’s ending could be smoother, the final act has an unpredictable twist which will leave most viewers more confused than shocked.

Obviously made in the wake of Saw and its massive box office success, Vile is a derivative but fairly satisfying exercise in sheer terror. A series of horrific moral dilemmas play out laced with enough blood and gore to keep genre fans happy. Yellowstone fans will spot actor Ian Bohen from the Paramount series in a small role.


Vile’s picture quality is nothing to write home about on Blu-ray, a remnant of an earlier era shot with inferior cameras and a hideously dull color correction. The 1.78:1 presentation reflects the movie’s digital filmmaking pedigree from the early 2010s. Most aspects of the 1080p resolution are sub-par, everything from the sickly flesh-tones to inadequate shadow delineation.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen macroblocking and aliasing on this level, likely baked into the movie’s decrepit digital intermediate. At its best Vile looks serviceable with occasional lapses in definition and clarity.

The main feature runs 88 minutes, encoded in AVC on a BD-50. I won’t lay the blame for Vile’s shoddy video on distributor MVD’s hands; the indie movie’s cinematography is messy and low budget.


Audio options include 5.1 Dolby Digital and 2.0 PCM. A healthy stew of prime 2000s era music acts like Kurt Vile (whose name is nothing more than a coincidence) pepper the engaging soundtrack. A little disappointing MVD could only include the surround mix in lossy form, the soft dialogue occasionally gets buried. The surround route is probably your best option in a nice home theater but trying out the stereo mix made the audio punchier with more kick.

Optional English SDH subtitles play in a yellow font.


Part of MVD’s Marquee Collection, Vile arrives as a region-free Blu-ray with a slipcover and reversible artwork.

Long ago back in 2013, Anchor Bay issued Vile themselves in the UK as a Region B-locked disc. That disc did contain a lossless surround track.

Drug Deal Deleted Scene (02:24 in SD)

Greg and Lisa Deleted Scene (04:09 in SD)

Director Taylor Sheridan Mops Up the Aftermath (01:01 in SD) – Future Hollywood superstar creator Sheridan is seen cleaning up his bloody set.

Vile Trailer (01:25 in HD)

Ghoulies Trailer (01:55 in SD)

One Dark Night Trailer (02:16 in HD)

Witchtrap Trailer (02:31 in SD)

Swamp Thing Trailer (01:31 in SD)

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided by the label for review. This has not materially affected DoBlu’s editorial process. For information on how we handle all review material, please visit DoBlu’s about us page.

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Yellowstone co-creator Taylor Sheridan’s early indie directorial effort is a memorable riff on Saw’s torture porn formula

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