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Starring
Lauren German
as Beth

Roger Bart
as Stuart

Heather Matarazzo
as Lorna

Bijou Phillips
as Whitney

Richard Burgi
as Todd

Vera Jordanova
as Axelle

Jay Hernandez
as Paxton

Jordan Ladd
as Stephanie

Written and Directed
by Eli Roth

Running Time: 1:33

Rated R
for sadistic scenes of torture and bloody violence,
terror, nudity, sexual content,
language and some drug content.

C


THE OPENING

Hostel: Part II was decent but somewhat of a letdown.

THE STORY

Picking up minutes after the original film ended, we're quickly taken back to the hostel in Slovakia where this time it's a group of American girls that is up for bid in the auction to end their lives. Much like in the first film, they are hunted, and then brought to the torture chamber where various other people are being slaughtered. The only real questions this time around are, how will they die, and which one(s) will live?

THE REVIEW

You pretty much know what to expect walking into Hostel: Part II: a lot of blood and gore and violence. But what I saw was kind of a slow moving film where you knew what was coming so there was no shock value. The story, as it was, was nothing more or less than a set up to the violence. That's OK, because I don't think anyone going to see the film really cares if the story is solid or not. I mean let's face it, for better or for worse, the original Hostel became the poster-film for this new breed of 'horror porn.' The movies aren't about story or about setting you up for psychological scares, they're all about seeing how much they can gross you out in the most sadistic way possible. The scene towards the end of the first film with the girl, the blow torch and her eye was one of the most disturbing images I've ever seen. So writer/director Eli Roth had his work cut out for him the second time around. How to top a scene so disgusting it made people literally throw up in the theater?

The problem with the sequel is that the film didn't really go far enough. The first person we see killed, dies in an almost cheesy way, but more importantly, we only see the aftermath, not the killing itself. The first time we really see torture, it was in face, extremely well done. It featured a couple of naked women, one of whom was hung upside down with chains, and the other who bathed in her blood. It was slow, cringe-worthy, brutal and very bloody. I even turned to my friend and said 'and this is only the beginning!' I truly thought that, although it took a long while for the first torture scene to occur, we were going to be in for a wild ride.

Unfortunately from there, things didn't get better. In fact, now that I think about it, we only really see one person die after that. OK look, I'm gonna describe scenes from the film now, so if you haven't seen it and want to be surprised, skip the rest of the review. So one of the three female friends is now dead, and in a satisfying way (from a horror porn point of view.) Then there's the second girl who we never see die, but she get a circular saw through the head. However I didn't find it all that shocking. With this kind of film I need something that will make me turn my head. The first girl dying, I had to turn my head at one point because it was so hard to watch. With the second girl, I kept waiting for something to happen, but it never really did. She didn't die, but the guy who paid to kill her? Well he eventually gets killed by a bunch of wild dogs. But it happens so fast and so brutally, it got to the point of being funny. He was literally dismembered in about 10 seconds. Then there was the star of the film who is the person most likely to escape. She does and manages to turn the tables on her killer, which leads to the ending the commercials say is 'the most shocking ending in movie history!' Granted, what she does to the poor man will leave a lot of men gasping for breath, but while it was horrifying, it was again almost comical. There's one more death in the film that is definitely played for laughs and you'll see why if you watch the film/

If I didn't know better, I'd almost believe that Hostel: Part II was an attempt to get away from the 'horror porn' label and almost become a horror comedy. But unlike a film such as Shawn of the Dead, it would be a very dark and brutal comedy. I honestly don't know if the laughs I got from the film were intentional or not. But since I went into the movie believing this would be a film more brutal than anything I'd seen before, I left feeling disappointed. It's kind of a horrible thing to say but I was hoping for something more over-the-top disgusting. What I got was a film that felt very uneven. I think anticipation hurt this film more than anything else. If you go in expecting nothing, you might enjoy it more. If you go in thinking it would top the original, you'll leave feeling like I did.

THE BOTTOM LINE

So overall, I thought Hostel: Part II was just so-so. It didn't live up to the original film in any aspect. Since you know what's going to happen, there needed to be just sadistic violence over and above anything else ever seen. Instead there was some violence, one good torture scene, and the rest of it was kind of funny.

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reviewed 06/10/07

© 2007 Wolfpack Productions

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