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Well-made for the genre--the excessive-skin-displayed-before-gruesome-bloody-torture-begins genre--Hostelfollows two randy Americans (Jay Hernandez,Friday Night Lights, and Derek Richardson,Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd) and an even randier Icelander (Eythor Gudjonsson) as they trek to Slovakia, where they're told beautiful girls will have sex with anyone with an American accent. Unfortunately, the girls will also sell young Americans to a company that offers victims to anyone who will pay to torture and murder. To his credit, writer/director Eli Roth (Cabin Fever) takes his time setting things up, laying a realistic foundation that makes the inevitable spilling of much blood all the more gruesome. The sardonic joke, of course, is that Americans are worth the most in this brothel of blood because everyone else in the world wants to take revenge upon them. This dark humor and political subtext help setHostelabove its more brainless sadistic compatriots, likeHouse of WaxorThe Devil's Rejects. In general, though, there's something lacking; horror used to suggest some threat to the spirit--today's horror can conceive of nothing more troubling than torturing the flesh. For aficionados,Hostelfeatures a nice cameo by Takashi Miike, director of bloody Japanese flicks likeAuditionandIchi the Killer.--Bret Fetzer
Not really SCARY... but definately GORY I'm gonna start off with the goods.
The movie is original and has a good feel to it. The mood is set as three Americans travel across Europe in search of drugs, sex and more sex. The feeling of when and where is it all gonna go bad is delayed nicely and it keeps you interested despite the slow pace getting down to the nitty gritty. Yet, when it all does finally go down, the shock value is strong and unexpected.
What they eventually stumble across, is more adventure than they were looking for. A sadistic game of torture, brought about by cat and mouse and they unwittingly fall into the trap.
Now the bads.
First off, in a way, it's a good, because when it finally does happen, it holds more punch, but it took a long time to get into the danger that the movie is based on. Much of the film is taken up with set up... travel, sex-capades and things that really don't have anything to do with anything that unfolds in the film. This is not a huge deal to me.
Where the film lost me, is when Paxton is finally strapped to the chair and his torturer is having his way. What unfolds is a series of ridiculous coincidences and clumsiness that leads to his getting free. He yells something at his torturer that is not subtitled, but it stops his torturer for a moment. Then his torturer starts up a chainsaw, SLIPS IN SOME BLOOD and chainsaws his own leg. Then of course... there's a gun!
I hate coincidences. While I was into this film, at this scene, which was probably the most important scene in the film... I rolled my eyes and didn't care anymore.
Don't get me wrong. This is actually a good film. Better than Cabin Fever. Certainly not THE SCARIEST MOVIE IN A DECADE, which has been promoted. Maybe the most VIOLENT. HOSTEL is a movie that, in my opinion, missed a lot of opportunities to really be special when it hit the coincidence super highway, and for me, fell into mediocre land.
Guys? The scarey image on the DVD box... ...is a towel clamp. It's a surgical instrument used primarily for clipping sterile towels to one another when you're draping a prepped patient for an operation.
Figure half a dozen of 'em in the average abdominal procedure tray sent up from central supply. The circulating nurse can always spill a couple more on the Mayo stand if you drop one on the floor, honest.
Yeah, a towel clamp can be used as a tenaculum to grab soft tissue, sure. But that's because the pincer-like design enables you to bite into skin or muscle or fascia with *less* damage than a regular hemostat or Kocher clamp might impose by virtue of crush injury.
They're actually a "kinder, gentler" way to grab the patient's flesh and hold it so that you can put the puzzle back together with a minimum of necrosis or scarring later.
Sorry to kill the buzz.Roth shows that he still does not understand the true meaning of horror After hearing waivering reveiws about the film and it's theatrical release I found myself some what excited to see what all the hype was about as well as to see if Mr. Roth's 2nd attept at a good horror film was more successful than his 1st...
Over the past few months I have been reading in magazines, reports that "Eli Roth's Hostel is making the audience run out of the theatre from pure discust" (which of corse made me even more eager to see the film) .... now 2 month's later after buying the film I relize that the gore statement is somewhat over-rated (wait to let me explain why!). I must confess that one of my true passions is to watch all sorts horror films (low-budget, big-budget, Chinese&Japanese, gory, suspence/thrillers) whatever! it doesnt matter what kind, if there is a horror film I have either seen or want to see it, BUT back to the subject at hand... seeing all sorts of horror film's, I know what to look at in one, and what Hostel brings has nothing unique,... Itilian&French horror film's do the same thing as Hostel does with ALOT more actual horror, any horror film with a decent budget what so ever can make a film THAT gory and un-easing, it doesnt take a brilliant mind, it doesnt take great acting, all it takes is a few million and a somewhat twisted mind. One good thing about this film was the .. (BEWARE.. SPOILER LIES AHEAD!) part where the Californian escapes with the one-eyeballed Asian, it was somewhat suspenceful as well as fast-paced, (unlike the first thirty minutes of boobs, sex&drugs!)
Overall all Roth's 2nd effort is an improvment from Cabin fever (his 1st film) BUT he is still a bit more than a little un-educated in the true definition of horror, and very far still from some of the great horror minds (directors) that are still around today as well as some that are six feet under ground