Presented by genre master Quentin Tarantino and written and directed by Eli Roth, "Hostel" is a dark, bloody exploration of torture and evil. The film centres on two young Americans backpacking through Europe who find themselves lured in as victims of a murder-for-profit business. Graphic and deeply disturbing, 'Hostel' is one of the most brutal films ever made!
A clever story once again let down by a weak director.
- Hostel review by Shatner's Bassoon
(4) of (5) members found this review helpful.
You rated this film: 3
The story of 'Hostel' revolves around two American backpackers touring Europe with two major goals, to get high and get laid with as many women as possible. While visiting Amsterdam they hear tales of a hostel in Bratislava, Slovakia where sex mad women lust after American men. They of course decide to go, and at first it seems the tales are true, but soon learn that the enticing hostel is a front for a sinister club, where clients can pay to perform horrific acts. There's no denying that 'Hostel', like its predecessor 'Cabin Fever', is a film which on the face of it has huge potential. The thought of a secret club where money can buy you access to the torture and murder of others is intriguing, and a plot revolving around an individual who finds himself kidnapped, locked up waiting for his assassin and his own slow painful death, could have made for a great film. The trouble is, in the hands of Eli Roth a clever story which could have been so exciting and horrific gets completely botched up. For a 90 minute film, Roth clumsily wastes 50 minutes getting to the place that is supposed to be the actual focus of the story. The nearly hour long prologue is spent observing the backpackers while they party, get high and watch strippers in Amsterdam. When the film finally starts to focus on the actual story of the Slovakian hostel, Roth directs everything in such an overly simplified way that it pretty much kills any suspense or mystery. It wouldn't be so bad if it all lead up to some amazing final twist, but it never happens. The ones you suspected were bad guys were in fact the bad guys. The ones you suspected were dead were actually dead, and the film ends the way you suspected it would all along. While 'Hostel' is an obvious improvement on his first film 'Cabin Fever', it only goes to prove Eli Roth can't live up to his own hype. As an ideas man he's very imaginative, as a self confessed horror fan he has an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of the genre, the trouble is instead of using that vast knowledge and imagination to make something new and exciting he again ends up producing something derivative and unsophisticated, and once you get past the initial grittiness of the torture scenes then 'Hostel' is at best pretty average, high on gore and low on horror. If you want to see something genuinely horrific, gory and with a superior story try 'Saw' or 'Ichi The Killer'.
All horror films ask you the same question. Is it right that I should be watching people reenact suffering and fear for my own entertainment? Good horror films leaven this guilt with intelligence, imagination and sensitivity. This piece of trash just offered torture for it's own sake, just to push the experience of screen brutality that little bit further. With no reward. Just the sensation of humanity bumping along the bottom of the extremes of possible depravity.
Scary if your an American, Ok if your not.
- Hostel review by WR
(0) of (1) members found this review helpful.
You rated this film: 3
This is an interesting film as it has been fully endorsed by Tarantino. Its not bad just not ground breaking. It certainly is no where near as scary as its rated to be. I would say it should even have been a 15. It’s a basic plot but executed well. Americans get into a mucky underworld of torture and dodgy Europeans who keep it all quiet. If you’re an American this film would make you scared to leave your country. If like me your English you spend have the film thinking 'stupid yanks, keep your wits about you when traveling and this would not happen' Some gory scenes but not enough. Don’t believe the hype.