Archive for the ‘Hostel’ Category

268 – Hostel

May 17, 2006

Hostel is half suspense thriller and half gorefest. Most people won’t like the level of violence and blood and such, but for those who are fond of splatterfests, it’ll be like a Renoir you’d love to have in your collection of fine, gross art.

Three youths backpacking through Europe find themselves in a Slovakian youth hostel. It’s all they’ve ever wanted – even better than Amsterdam! The girls are gorgeous and (most importantly) willing, especially concerning young Americans. Even better, the boys have to room with two local lovelies who like to walk around naked and party hardy with their new friends.

But strange things are afoot. Ole (Eythor Gudjonsson) goes missing; the front desk says he’s checked out, and his pals Paxton (Jay Hernandez) and Josh (Derek Richardson) receive a phone message from him saying he’s gone home. And a Japanese guest at the hostel says her friend’s missing, too. What’s up with that?

The first half of the movie is titillating, with plenty of go-thither scenes of fantastic debauchery, wickedly enticing the average male viewer with promises of drinking, toking, and hardcore fornication. I mean, how dare they? Here I am, trying to write a serious review of a nasty horror movie, and they have to muck it up by showing me plenty of gratuitous nudity!

Not that there’s nothing for the rest of the audience. Okay, there’s not much. The first half is aimed squarely at the heterosexual hedonist male. But then we get to the second half, and we get to see what happens when Josh passes out in his room and wakes up in the torture chamber.

This is the moment you’d start covering your eyes, shooing small children from the room, warning people with heart conditions, and so on. Of course, they probably didn’t watch the nakedness, anyway, and in fact aren’t even in the room, choosing instead to lambaste you from the other side of a thick door. I mean, how dare you bring such filth into their home? Why don’t you bring it into your own home, you pervert?

For the most part, the blood looks awfully real, but the editing is so well – pardon the pun – executed that you hardly have time to see how authentic it all appears. The point is, it feels darn authentic. Everything, from the actions of the psychopaths to the reactions of the victims feels pretty sincere.

Scary, creepy, and disgusting, Hostel is of the same – ahem – cut as Saw: a polished, well-shot (heh), squishy-sick horror film.

Hostel: ***

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