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Hostel part 2 *½

The Hostel sequel was always going to happen after the first one inexplicably made $80m..!

So the second hostel features 3 girls instead of 3 lads; see what he did there, totally different approach. They are the apparently as-rich-as-Bill Gates Beth (Lauren German), her feisty friend Whitney (Bijou Phillips) and tag along nerd Lorna (Heather Matarazzo – who deserves better material than this and is given nothing to do).

The movie opens with Paxton from the first movie waking from a ‘oh no it was a dream’ shot, it wasn’t he’s decapitated. The girls head to the hostel in Slovakia and are drugged, kidnapped and we’ve been here before.

The major difference this time around is we get to spend some time with a couple of rich American business men who bid to kill the girls.

The killings this time around include an Elizabeth Bathory style bathing in a bath of blood, a guy torn apart by the facility guard dogs and a circular saw to the face, well, hair but the face comes off with it…

SPOILER ALERT. Beth turns the tables on her torturer and makes a deal with the mafia types to escape. To do so though, she must kill as apparently that’s house rules. So she cuts off her would-be-torturers genitals and throws them to a guard dog!

Worse than the first one; it repeats the same structure without improving on it which shouldn’t have been too difficult. There are a few scenes that you know are added to set-up another possible sequel… please God NO.

A disappointing effort from Eli Roth who’s really enjoyed the limelight he’s been thrust into over the last few years since. ‘Cabin Fever’ was a great debut; it promised so much and won him so many fans as he spoke like a fan of the genre. He seems to be coasting along when he really should be pushing to make something great, he probably has the ability we’re just waiting to see it.

Quality: Averagely well made 2 out of 5 stars  

Any good: Not really 1 out of 5 stars

Hostel **½

Three backpackers in Amsterdam are locked out of their hostel. They trawl through the red light district, get drunk and are given information about a hostel in Slovakia where the girls are beautiful and love American men. The hostel is ‘To die for’

These opening scenes are supposed to give us some time to get to know our lead characters and therefore have some empathy for them when they’re inevitably tortured and killed.

Anyway the guys, Americans Paxton (Jay Hernandez), Josh (Derek Richardson) and Icelander Oli (Eythor Gudjonsson) head off to Slovakia and check-in to the hostel. On first impression it seems like the hostel is as they were led to believe. Not at all a front for a rich man’s club where they pay small fortunes to torture and kill backpackers with impunity… Or is it..?

Soon enough, they’re drugged, kidnapped and strapped into chairs in murky rooms… Torture ensues: tendons cut, fingers and toes severed etc, the usual stuff… then it’s a blow torch to an eye.

This is Eli Roth’s second feature after his fun debut ‘Cabin Fever’. Despite the bigger budget, higher production values and Quentin Tarantino as executive producer it’s not as good as his debut. Sure it’s a good idea for a horror film; it’s just not that good an idea. We’ve seen similar themes before and I’m sure Roth and Tarantino have seen the same movies being fans of horror and Grind house.

It’s well shot and the leads are okay. The gore when it arrives is suitably gruesome and it would seem that Roth has spent some time thinking how to hurt people.

I just don’t buy it. The whole premise of a hostel where these kids disappear from was like an ‘anti-The Beach’ and pointless.

SPOILER ALERT. Paxton’s escape and revenge is a little too contrived and totally unbelievable. The car chase killing of the bastards who led him to the hostel is a bad joke and the train station revenge feels like an add-on idea.

Not as bad as I’ve described it. But if you like this sort of thing, seeing people tortured then you’re sick and fortunately for you there are better movies out there. The horrific ‘The Girl Next Door’ was made on a fraction of the budget and has realistic, empathetic characters. Also ‘Martyrs’ leaves this in its wake for creepy chills and disturbing scenes of torture. If you can handle it ‘Salo: 120 Days of Sodom’ will disturb, horrify and scare the shit out of you in equal measures.

Quality: Well made 3 out of 5 stars

Any good: Not really, 2 out of 5 stars