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A few years back, Eli Roth wrote and directed a movie that pushed the limits of how far a modern torture movie can go. This movie was Hostel. He also created a movie that had no middle ground, that is to say, you loved it or you hated it. Black and white. As you can clearly see by the first movie, my two fellow reviewers have a difference of opinion. As big a difference of opinion as you can get on this site, in fact. Myself? Well, it took me two watches before I fell in love with it. I guess it turned out to be "my thing". When I heard they were making a sequel, I shook my head and sighed, like every other fan. 9 times out of 10, a sequel is a bad move that just ends up ruining the director's good standing. A perfect example being the second Texas Chainsaw Massacre. What I wouldn't give for my 90 minutes and $15 back. Like it or not, the sequel came out, and did quite well for the type of movie. I unfortunately had to pass on a theater viewing, so I've been anxiously awaiting the DVD release. Well folks, it has arrived in the hands of yours truly, and I couldn't be happier.
Review by Tristan
Added: October 23, 2007
Beth (Lauren German), Whitney (Bijou Phillips) and Lorna (Heather Matarazzo) are American art students, spending their summer in Rome to study art. Makes sense. Deciding that seeing the country is more inspirational, they pack up and head to Prague to start their European trip. While on the train, they cross paths with Axelle (Vera Jordanova), a model from their art class who convinces them to accompany her to Slovakia where they can spend their vacation relaxing, and enjoying the countryside. I suppose a spa weekend does sound better than backpacking around, getting lost, and harassed by flocks of European men. They check into a, you guessed it, hostel in Slovakia, which bears a strong resemblance to the one from the first film. I can't imagine why. After turning in their passports, the clerk takes them to an underground lair, where he puts their information up online, and the audience is treated to one of the coolest auctions I've ever seen. Every single person you see is bidding thousands upon thousands of dollars to win the right to torture these girls to death. Some of you are thinking this is pretty sick. As for yours truly, I felt like a giddy schoolboy. The first Hostel sure, you've got business men torturing people. But this was pretty twisted, considering half of these men, and a few women, were in the middle of a good golf game, eating breakfast with their wife, or playing with their kids. I guess creeps come in all kinds. One of said creeps is Stuart (Roger Bart), who from the get go, doesn't seem to thrilled by the idea. His friend won the auction for him as a birthday present and after an interesting turn of events, it seems like he might be the only chance the girls have of getting out of Slovakia alive. How's that for a cliffhanger, folks?
My only major gripe: Eli Roth made the same movie, this time with girls. And I really mean the same movie. For anyone who's seen the first one, 5 minutes into this one, and you already know who the bad guy is going to be, and who's a red herring. It's just, ugh. Too much of the film is playing off what you know about the first one. Almost every scene is a, "Oh yeah, I remember that", kind of moment. With a few new elements mixed in, of course.
Okay, now on to the good. Everything else. Roth certainly kicked it up a notch with this one. First of all, choosing an all female cast was a bold move. Torture men all you want, and nobody cares. As soon as it's a woman, that's a horse of a different colour. In the past, the likes of Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci have been slammed for being misogynistic and cruel towards women in their films. I haven't followed the news much around this movie, so I can't say first hand, but it wouldn't surprise me if ol' Eli Roth ran into a bit of trouble now and again. All these leading ladies did an excellent job for both ends of the film. They were great at acting like your typical girls on vacation, and they were great at making you feel awful while they were tortured. But my hat must be tipped to Ms. Heather Matarazzo. Ever since Welcome To The Dollhouse I've loved her in everything, and this was no exception. She might not be the most attractive girl, but she is downright adorable. Seeing her go from the cutesy, teen fluff roles to this is pretty intense. And don't give me that Elisha Cuthbert Captivity bullshit, this is a completely different story. Wasn't she also in the House of Wax remake? Yeah, enough said.
Now, for the gore. Aside from the first few moments, the movie is relatively PG-13 for about 45 minutes or so. Then the audience is treated to the first little taste of the red stuff, and it was well worth the wait. I won't give any of it away, but let me just say that between this first torture scene, and the subsequent torture scenes...you're not left disappointed. Take this from a huge fan of torture and exploitation movies. You get your money's worth.
I will say, that I love it when people say Hostel and Hostel Part II aren't horror films. I'm sorry, isn't the point of a horror film to make you afraid of something? Didn't Jaws make you afraid of the water? Didn't Psycho make you afraid of a shower? By no means am I comparing these films to Hostel, but after seeing these films, I certainly have my doubts about hopping on a plane, and going for a little R&R in one of these places. Eli Roth has found something else out there for us to be afraid of, and put his own spin on it. You might despise all the torture and over-the-top violence that goes along with it, but at the end of the day, he's making a frightening movie about hostels.
Usually, for a sequel to get my endorsement, it must do one of two things. It must either pick up where the original left off, so as to further the story, or it must be a whole different story, with new characters, ideas, and plot twists. Unfortunately, this movie didn't really do either of those things. Hostel wrapped things up pretty nicely, and as far as a sequel with all new ideas, well it kind of fell short in that department. Hostel: Part II lives up to the original, but it does not supersede it. Did this movie entertain me? Absolutely. Did it live up to my expectations? You bet. Did it earn itself a spot in my yearly top 10? Most definitely.
- added 10/23/2007, 10:25 AM
Frankly, I'm amazed that you were surprised that
this was just rehash of the original. The first
one was so one-dimensional there really wasn't a
lot of room for growth.
- added 10/23/2007, 10:46 AM
I had been talking so much trash about "Hostel
Part II", having never seen it -- so I thought I
wouldn't knock it until I tried it. I watched it.
It does nothing but confirm my belief that Eli
Roth is the worst director working today. This
was terrible, awful and just plain disgusting.
Torture horror is so over, evident in a big way
back the lackluster box office performances. I am
hoping "Saw IV" bombs this weekend too. That
would, hopefully, be the final nail in that
coffin. "Hostel Part II" was just nauseatingly
bad. Poor Heather Matarazzo. 0/10.
- added 10/23/2007, 01:54 PM
From what I understand, the Saw series is
contracted up to six movies already, so I think
it'll have to be horrible before they close that
door. That said, I have hopes for the Saw IV,
hopefully it will regain the story emphasis from
the first two and not just put all the focus on
the torture scenes, which is what kept 3 from
ranking up there.
- added 10/23/2007, 09:11 PM
Can anybody really say they were suprised this
movie would be as bad as the first...or any other
of eli roth's films. Using alot of makeup to
produce gore isn't a film its a crappy idea.
Sicking feathers up your butt doesn't make you a
chicken, sitting in a directors chair doesn't make
you one either.
- added 10/24/2007, 11:40 AM
I like this guy. Here, here! "Hostel Part II"
just furthers my belief that torture horror is
pointless, fruitless and to the detriment of the
entire genre right now. It's turning people off
from horror rather than turning people on to it --
and that's kind of the point. When Eli Roth
directs something that doesn't rely on blood and
guts for all of its effect, then I might concede
that he has some talent. Until then -- I could
make a better movie with 1/2 the budget he has.
- added 10/24/2007, 11:41 AM
I mean -- just look the that poster! A girl
holding her own head. That poster is designed to
disgust people. And it does. It completely turns
people off from seeing the film, and horror films,
in general. Why use that poster? What does it
offer? What does it provide the film?
- added 10/24/2007, 01:49 PM
So what if it's supposed to disgust people? At
least it's not false advertising. If that poster
turns someone off from seeing the film, then it's
actually perfect. The kind of people who want to
see this film, are the same people who will think
that poster is great. That said, I've already
ordered a copy of it.
- added 10/24/2007, 02:56 PM
You have me there. It's not false advertising
and the people who want to see it will. In two
years, however, I have the immediate feeling that
the people who want to see films like this will
have them sent straight-to-DVD instead of
theatrical. Fingers crossed.
- added 10/27/2007, 07:53 PM
I love "torture porn" and I loved the first
Hostel, but this... this was disappointing to say
the least. 6/10, and I'm being generous with
- added 10/27/2007, 07:54 PM
Oh, but I have to admit that I loved the
grain of sand
- added 10/29/2007, 09:44 PM
I don't like these movies, but I saw this in
rotterdam and it made me nervous to be american..
so I guess it was effective in that sort of
I liked cabin fever, so I won't
say I hate Roth, but he sucks
- added 05/15/2008, 05:59 AM
I literally just finished watching this 5 minutes
ago, and I really liked it . Not a classic
obviously, but it was cool. Bloodbath was awesome,
Lauren German is smokin' hot, I liked the
- added 07/08/2008, 06:01 AM
You know, I looked up a Stephen King interview
the other night... It saddened me rather deeply to
hear him literally compare Roth's "Hostel
II" to Kubrick's "The Shining"
displaying great appreciation for Roth and
disappointment for Kubrick's classic. He even went
as far as calling Eli Roth a "tremendous
talent." Whew. I think the ridiculousness
factor speaks for itself. No, it fucking cries out
loud. Oh yeah, 1/10
- added 07/30/2008, 04:03 PM
I liked this one better than the first.
- added 07/30/2008, 04:04 PM
That's like saying I liked my first bowel
movement better than my second bowel movement.
- added 08/03/2008, 12:34 PM
This movie truly was pathetic. For one, people
think this is way too "graphic" and shit
like that BUT really if you compare it to any
other torture film it is mild, compared to
something like Ichi The Killer this is like PG-13.
- added 08/04/2008, 06:35 PM
Reed, I think it was easy for him to compare this
movie to "The Shining". I'm not sure,
but I think I remember reading an article a few
years ago where King said he didn't like "The
Shining". I've never read the book, but
apparently the movie leaves a lot of good stuff
out. I personally didn't care for "The
Shining" either. A lot of people that I know
like the mini series a lot better.
- added 08/05/2008, 12:14 AM
So really, you have no idea what you're talking
about. "You think you remember" "I
never read the book". Yeah, King hated the
adaptation, because he didn't like what Kubrick
did with the end of the film, primarily. The
mini-series was god awful, so the "people you
know" are idiots. The Shining was more than
just a book-to-screen adaptation. It was a great
piece of cinema. If you knew anything about
Kubrick, you'd realize just how brilliant the man
was, and how great the film is. It's by no means a
decent horror movie - it's barely scary at all -
but from a technical standpoint, it's quite an
achievement, even on a resume like Kubrick's.
- added 08/05/2008, 12:44 AM
Nope, still didn't like the movie. And people on
imdb.com like the series as well. Also it's clear
I DO know what I'm talking about and you just
proved that but confirming that King hated the
- added 08/05/2008, 12:45 AM
*by, not but.
- added 08/05/2008, 12:47 AM
I'm mainly just going for hits here, but thinking
you heard something about King not liking it is
hardly "knowing what you're talking
about". That's reading something in passing,
and trying to make a point w/o doing any hard
- added 08/05/2008, 12:52 AM
Yeah well, gay! Movie is still overrated.
- added 08/05/2008, 01:08 AM
Besides, I wasn't saying you were wrong. Just
that you didn't know what you were talking about.
And why is this conversation not moving to The
Shining? It is on here.
- added 08/05/2008, 01:22 AM
Because Hostel II sucks so much that we have to
talk about something else. I haven't seen it, and
I know it sucks. Thats Shining right there!
- added 11/01/2008, 02:51 AM
I HATED the original. The first hour of frat boys
acting like asses, then the dumbass horror. I had
no desire to see Part 2. Then today I rented Love
and Mary with Lauren German, and she was good and
hot. So, I looked her up at imdb and Hostel 2 is
the only other movie she's starred in that's
What a good movie this
was. It had depth, humor, good characters. Though
I have to admit it was really predictable. You
could see a mile away the two guys were going to
switch attitudes, and since Beth was so rich... I
might actually buy this.
- added 11/01/2008, 04:14 AM
Sorry -- I have to -- you are certifiably fucking
retarded. Depth? Humor?
Is that a joke?
Please tell me that's a joke.
- added 11/01/2008, 11:59 AM
Down boy... LOL!!!
Why don't you
tell us how you REALLY feel, Meanie?
Incidentally, I concur with your assessment...
just a bit less vociferously ;)
- added 11/01/2008, 02:46 PM
I enjoyed the hell out of this.
Here's the difference (IMO) between the first
and the second.
The first is
straight forward a bunch of dumbass' go on
vacation looking to get laid, and end up being
tortured and murdered by a group that pays high
stakes to do the killing. That's it.
The second has depth within the process of how
the clients get the victims. The general
backgrounds of these psychos in suits with
families. The girls weren't cardboard cutouts who
just did the normal stupid ass shit that most
people do in horror movies. They stuck together.
They used their brains, and it showed in little
ways throughout the movie.
easy to see how it was going to play out, but for
the average viewer would probably be surprised at
the guy chickening out and the other guy going at
This was a far superior movie in
my opinion then the first.
girls were gorgeous, and three find actresses. You
can't go wrong there.
- added 11/01/2008, 02:49 PM
Oh and one last thing. The chick from Welcome to
the Dollhouse, her murder is based on fact. There
was a woman in New Orleans that used to murder
people and bath in their blood. She believed it
kept her youthful. I thought that was a great
- added 11/01/2008, 03:18 PM
I guess if this type of film is really your
thing, then "Hostel 2" is probably its
"Lawrence of Arabia".
- added 11/01/2008, 04:20 PM
I wouldn't put it on any best of lists, but it
was an entertaining movie. BTW: I'm more of a
Casablanca, Roaring Twenties kind of guy.
- added 11/02/2008, 02:03 PM
"that used to murder people and bath in
their blood. She believed it kept her youthful. I
thought that was a great touch. "
That was Countess Elizabeth Bathory. In Hungary.
In the turn of the 15th century.
- added 01/23/2009, 06:56 AM
Awful trash. the truth hurts some times, doesn't
it? Eli Roth should be shot. Done...
- added 02/04/2009, 01:48 AM
I finally got all the way through this tonight on
Showtime in HD...
Horror... i wasn't frightened or horrified for one
second of this film (nor was I surprised or in
suspense at any time)... this is simply another
exercise in pushing the violence envelope. Even
the set-up was a snore...
one had at least a bit of novelty to it... this
was simply a rehash with pubescent women at the
forefront instead of teenage men.
was passable and the cinematography was
interesting at times... but other than a morbid
curiosity to see what would happen next... nothing
was compelling about this film.
least it had a decent cadence to it... it told a
simple enough story and went along at a fairly
rapid click... otherwise is was a worthless
exercise in puerile violence for violence's sake.
Even the death scenes were brutally pedestrian...
aside from the Countess Bathory allusion that was
an unexpected stand-out. Even that scene was
awkwardly done with the girl being slashed from
beneath from a supine position without proper
leverage...wtf? Bloody unlikely...
Disappointing... but expectedly so...
I remain unimpressed.
- added 06/24/2009, 02:53 AM
Garbage. The only part I enjoyed was the party
about 20 minutes or so into the film. This movie
was a big waste of time and doesn't even hold a
candle to the original. It was so boring and it
probably has the dumbest opening I have ever seen.
Oh, I guess I enjoyed the bloodbath scene as well.
The two men switching attitudes was retarded as
well. Apparently Hostel 3 is in the works, so I'm
definitely skipping out on that one. 9.5? Please.
More like 3.5/10
- added 12/07/2009, 12:44 AM
This was just a shell of the first movie; and the
first movie was garbage. I'll admit I too dug the
bloodbath scene, but everything else was a waste
of time. And the ending's little twist gave me a
headache from my eyes rolling so hard.
- added 02/21/2010, 03:33 PM
..."The Shining" mini-series, as well
as the book, suck. King is a hack. I've never met
a man with such a dedicated fear of inanimate
objects in my life, and even Kubrick realized
this, thus making the "hotel" less of a
chracter in his adaptation and focusing on the
crushing lack of sanity that t he hotel (and its
Anyway, yeah, this did
suck. I only liked the first because it was a good
jab at exploitation in the modern era, but I'm
starting to see the lack of realized potential in
such a revival on modern audiences. This was
shallow, thick and tried to provide a narrative
that it just didn't need in order to function
well-enough. The gore was even more tame than the
first and, although I feel Eli Roth is probably a
great guy, who I'd get alongwiht immensly, I don't
think he knows the difference between a "fun
movie that's good" and a "fun
movie". He can't seem to direct either
terribly well and, aside from "Cabin
Fever", his filmography is showing itself to
be as one dimmensional as his take on the
Saw a round-table discussion between
Takashi Miike, Guilmero del Toro and Roth at the
Cannes screening of Miike's "Gozu", and,
although roth shows the same type of
utter-fanboyism, his obsession with the violence
aspect of film is almost insulting to any decent
horror filmmaker and I could almost here Miike and
del Toro's eyes rolling as he went on. Like I
said, I'm sure I'd get along with the guy, but
he's not a talented man.
forward to a project by him that is at least
functioning as a FILM.