Hostel is the second movie by Eli Roth, his first being the absolutely abysmal Cabin Fever. Now some people bizarrely like that movie, indeed it was marketed as a horror and for 30 or so minutes it wasn't too bad. But then it went into some outlandish parody of itself, throwing 'comedic' elements at the screen, such as Dennis and his pancakes, which turned a promising movie into something I truly loathe. So, this his second movie, was hyped as an out and out horror, but even with that said it's not without reservations that I viewed it.
We meet out three main characters as they backpack around Holland. The two Americans, Paxton and Josh, act as stereotypically as we should expect, with both indulging in the sex and drugs that Amsterdam provides as well as being the annoying yank stereotype. The Icelandic Oli, is equally annoying in his own respect, with the added attraction of having a hideous jacket on top. Eventually they are tipped off that there's a hostel in Slovakia where the women are drop dead gorgeous and love Americans so much they'll do anything, if you follow the drift. So off they head, not knowing the fate that awaits all visitors there.....
If you skipped my first paragraph, you'd do well to read it again, as the complaints I had for Cabin Fever are equally true here but in reverse. It starts off like a bawdy comedy ala Porky's, before the horror elements kick in. Now I won't lie to you, because after the first 30 minutes, I stopped playing the disc. Awful doesn't do it justice. The so called 'future of horror'? Please don't make me laugh. But, as I'm reviewing the title and not watching out of choice, I span it up again hoping it would improve and it does, but then it could only get worse with the appearance of Jar Jar Binks. Once Roth has exercised his 'comedic' homage to the 80's, he follows up in the horror elements by paying homage to Takashi Miike. In fact, it's such a homage, the Japanese director shows up in a cameo! Talk about a complete lack of imagination.
While the second part of the movie is grisly, it also suffers from a lack of shock value. Not one scene shocks. From tendon cutting to eyeball extraction, there's a whole sense of 'seen it all before' and generally much better. Even the ending seems incredibly hollow and while I won't go into great detail, it just seemed so very little after our “hero” has endured so much.
In fact, it seems the only reason this got made was a certain QT hyped it up as much as Roth did to the point of having a “Quentin Tarantino Presents” at the beginning of this. The interviews in the movie magazines seemed as though this was a balls to the wall horror.
In reality, it's just plain balls. A final parting thought for you - according to IMDB the “F” word is said 128 times in the unrated cut. Whilst watching this movie, I'm pretty sure I said it a lot more in disbelief.
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