Quantcast FIRST LOOK: ELI ROTH'S HOSTEL PART 2 review



FIRST LOOK: HOSTEL PART II (June. 07) by Jsyn

HOSTEL PART 2 could be one of the best horror sequels ever. In my opinion, it’s a much stronger movie than the first and I really enjoyed HOSTEL. Love him or hate him, Eli Roth is an undeniable talent and every film he’s done shows growth as a film maker, which is always a good thing.
First off, don’t expect a rehash of the first movie with chicks instead of guys. It’s a very well-rounded story and I think it was really clever to kind of spin people’s expectations that way. The half-comedy/half-horror move pacing of HOSTEL isn’t here, in the sense that the movie has different beats that catch you off guard. Story-wise, it picks up right where the first left off. Anyone with basic reasoning skills knows that the character of Paxton (played by Jay Hernandez) is back, but not for long. We’re introduced to three American girls studying abroad and traipsing around Europe for some down time.
Ultimately they get lured to a “spa getaway” in Slovakia and the titular Hostel where, before you know it, shit starts to go south. More is revealed about the people behind the Hostel, but it’s just enough to still keep that air of mystery around it. What is shown doesn’t need to be over explained. HOSTEL PART 2 is essentially about the people who pay for the service offered, their motivations and how they become part of “the club”.
Also, the girls are more sympathetic victims than the guys in HOSTEL. I really didn’t want to see them end up like those dudes because their actions leading them to the Hostel are innocent. As much as you want to see some fucked up shit happen (deep down you know you do) you kind of hope they get out of it somehow.
And speaking of fucked up shit, while HOSTEL PART 2 does not numb the audience with nonstop, over the top torture scenes, it makes up for it with imaginative money shots. It’s quality over quantity this time around. I’m pretty sure there might be less blood and gore than the first, but damn if the stuff you do see isn’t more grisly. One scene in particular is an elaborate and horrific fate for actress Heather Matarazzo. She gets major kudos for having cast-iron gonads because that scene is probably the most vulnerable and terrifying ordeal any actress ever had to tackle.
If I see her in the street I’m gonna give her a big hug and maybe a cookie because that was some straight-up, suffer for your art, trooper shit right there. Not to be understated, the entire cast was excellent. Bijou Philips played flirty and cute without being annoying. Lauren German was sensible, intelligent and sincere without being annoying (and looked great in a bikini). And quite honestly, Vera Jordanova as Axelle was so fucking hot I think my balls melted. Yowza!
Another welcome difference is that the film is beautifully shot, no question about it. The gorgeous, lush palette shows another side of the Slovakia from the first movie. It looks like a place you’d want to visit as opposed to the seedy shithole anyone with sense would avoid as depicted in HOSTEL. I’m sick of the new “scary” being dirty basements with no windows.
It seems like once Eli saw the Frankenstein monster called “torture porn” he helped create; he had the smarts and foresight enough to know he absolutely needed to flip the script on the second one. He could have very easily slipped back into that comfortable wet spot the audience (and I’m sure the studio) were expecting of HOSTEL PART 2 but chose to think ahead of the curve, and I believe it’s going to pay off. There’s a lot for non-fans to appreciate if they have an open mind, and plenty for the die-hard fans to lap up if they don’t.
There is no point in giving away anything you haven’t seen yet. There are some cool little twists and turns as well as some clever nods and carry-overs from HOSTEL. Eli Roth has stated publicly that the ending of HOSTEL PART 2 is like, the best ending for a movie you’ll see all year, and that we’ll all be blown away by it. I will say that while the twist is pretty fucking cool, if you pay attention I think you can see it coming. And that “ultimate kill”, the one that’s going to go down in horror history that people are going to freak out over and theaters will spontaneously combust with outrage… yeah, all that could happen. It’s pretty ballsy and something I think will be discussed for a while, but not for the same reasons.
If anything, the savvy horror fan won’t be as shocked as the average moviegoer (because frankly we’ve seen stuff like that before) but, I think both parties will agree that something is very wrong over at the MPAA. I call major shenanigans on those “guardians of moral decency”. I guess the size of the studio (or their checkbooks perhaps?) depends on how vigilant their guard is. But that’s another story. In short let’s just say it’s definitely a satisfying ending to go out on. While Eli has said it doesn’t directly leave the door open for HOSTEL 3, there seems to be an opportunity to tell more of the story in the future. I hope he doesn’t get roped into doing HOSTEL 3 right away (and I sure hope Lionsgate doesn’t try to make another without Roth involved), because I’m anxious to see what he does next with some fresh material.

Horror fans, this is a movie that will make out with you and maybe even grab your junk before taking your money. Go see it and enjoy the thrill. - Jsyn 



VISIT: WWW.MYSPACE.COM/ELIROTH

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