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· 93 minutes
Directed by Eli Roth
Written by Eli Roth
· Heather Mattarazzo
· Bijou Phillips
· Lauren German
Eli Roth is one of the more controversial directors in recent years. Critics have dubbed his movies 'torture porn', though in my opinion you can't really stick that label on his first film, 2004's Cabin Fever. And his current film, Hostel Part II, is the most controversial one yet. Does all this controversy make for an entertaining movie? Well that's the big question here really.
Hostel Part 2 is called that because this really is the second part to the Hostel story. It picks up where the first film left off, with Paxton (Jay Hernandez) just barely surviving his escape from the torture factory. We get a nice cameo from Eli Roth mainstay Jordan Ladd (Cabin Fever), who's appearance here made me wonder just how good a makeup job they must have done on her in Roth's first film. There she looked like she could pass for a teenager, but every film I've seen her make appearances in since she looks like she aged like 15 years since Cabin Fever came out. It seriously boggles my mind.
But I digress, also during this section of the movie we get ludicrous death scene number one. I won't say who gets the metaphorical axe, but needless to say, it serves no purpose other than the first 'WTF' moment of the movie. Now that that's out of the way we move on to our main stories. The main plot line concerns a group of girls travelling across Europe, as they get roped into the Hostel scam. Our secondary plot line, and the more interesting one in my opinion, is that of two business men, played by Roger Bart ( The Producers), and Richard Burgi (Desperate Housewives) on the other side of the torture spectrum, as they take their first tour into the aforementioned murder factory.
Then once this has all been set up is when it gets brutal. Heather Mattarazzo's death scene can truly be described as the definiton of torture porn. I didn't really enjoy it, but at the same time I could not look away from the screen. The special effects team by the KNB FX group really had their work cut out for them here. All the death scenes are just gory, but at the same time, I couldn't help get this feeling that the picture itself was empty and soulless.
Eli Roth, who up until this point in my opinion has shown himself to be quite a talented horror director, has made basically just a peice of torture porn. Had the picture been told solely from the perspective from the businessmen side, the picture might have been more interesting and done something different with the genre. But any time they cut back to the girl's story, I found myself just waiting for them to die in horrible ways as only Eli Roth's twisted mind can come up with. That is not the definition of good horror film making. You have to care about the characters to feel scared for them when they get in the required predicaments for the genre. If you don't, as you really can't in this film, all you're left with is a piece of gory trash. And don't even get me started on the ludicrous ending, which I guess is supposed to be a shocking twist. Don't worry, I won't spoil it for you, but I walked out of the theater thinking, okay, what the hell just happened there?
I did however, enjoy the film's score by Nathan Barr (Cabin Fever), the use of strings and classical music, and lack of throwaway rock songs to make an extra buck on a soundtrack was an excellent touch in my opinion.
I will say again, the KNB's special effects team truly had it's work cut out for them here. The gore and blood is almost realistic at points, which made certain scenes even cringe worthy. The performance of Roger Bart as the businessman who gets talked into going to The Hostel by his friend was also quite good in my opinion. I seriously had wished Roth had made the movie focusing on those characters so we could have gotten perhaps a better understanding of why a place like that would exist. The hype I've read on the picture is that you see the motivations behind the Hostel, but you really don't. All we get is a rich guy who appears to be the founder and also a client of the murderous vacation spot.
I really wanted to have people be wrong about this movie, but sadly the movie is barely that, an excerise in torture porn for it's own sake, nothing more, nothing less. I see a movie that could have been an interesting twist on the horror genre, but sadly this is just a failed attempt with a few amusing parts to it. Well, till next time, be sure to keep it reel.