With Lauren German, Heather Matarazzo, Bijou Phillips, Vera Jordanova, Jordan Ladd, Monika Malacova, Jay Hernandez
Directed by Eli Roth

On the back of the first
Hostel’s success, naturally a sequel had to follow and unlike cases of the past, came hot on its heels. So, what can they do to invigorate the basic premise of young tourists being tortured to death by the highest bidder? Roth manages to swing it with a few switches, like a gender shift and adding two of the killers’ perspectives to the storyline. A beautiful model meets a trio of diverse young female American tourists in Italy, and convinces them to travel to a spa in Slovakia. And yes, their sense of self-gratification lures them to the infamous hostel (albeit on a less gratuitous impulse than the boys from the first film). So why didn’t the operation get shut down, seeing as the Jay Hernadez character escaped? That gets tied up in the movie’s opening sequence. The three girls are instant targets for potential murderous high flyers, two of them American businessmen (one super keen, the other doubtful). One of the girls falls victim to a bloody Countess Bathory fantasy, and as mentioned, some welcome switches are injected throughout the narrative which will be a spoiler if mentioned here.
Again one can read a bit more into Roth’s film than other torture-horror titles – below the surface lies a critique on the escalating slide into materialism, making money at all cost, conscienceless neo-Yuppie culture, and the “highest bidder wins”.
In the global market people justify illegal and morally reprehensible behaviour because they can afford it. It reflects on ever declining attitudes – people are willing to buy stolen goods, and because they paid for it and didn’t physically rip it off makes it acceptable. In the Hostel movies the “clients” didn’t go out and stalk someone to kill – it is done for them and because it’s paid for, killing that commodity they acquired is fine.
I’m a great fan of extreme entertainment, Horror and its variants, yet I can’t help but fear that we’re exposed to these images to such an overwhelming extent that we become more accepting of it as we’re desensitized, and those with more blunted emotions and thin moral fiber could be spurred on to step over the line. For instance (while not related to Hostel in any way), this June 2007 some idiots in South Africa were arrested for decapitating a live husky with a chainsaw…where does it go from there?
People disappear not daily, but on the hour, never to be seen again – no doubt places like that depicted in Hostel exist in a far less glamourized or organized way.
While it should be viewed as 90 minutes of cheap thrills with a tub of popcorn next to your screaming date not to go beyond the theatre or the DVD player, one cannot help but think a bit further than the bloody entertainment – and the mere fact that someone would think about it beyond that in an uncomfortable, unsettling way means there could be someone out there watching with an opposite attitude, with no sense of ethics or value for life, strictly out to make as much tax free money as possible, be it selling drugs, smuggling guns, kidnapping women and children into prostitution slavery, making snuff movies or even setting up a venue where someone can pay to kill another human being...
It is also not up to us or the filmmakers to see the audience as intellectually infantile morons who will go out and replicate on-screen atrocities. It is the world as a whole (not horror movies or rock music) that’s sliding civilization into decline. Our self-destructive nature is unsurpassed on this planet, some of our biggest fears lying in the chance of us running a collision course with one of these disruptive (and possibly deadly) elements.
As a whole, the psychology seems to be dissolving from horror films with each new production, like commercial music, becoming more base, simple and one-dimensional with the storylines boiling down to not much more than “killer torments victim(s), survivor gets away with a bit of vengeance”.
But, the Hostel movies are also not mere "murder-porn" as many reviewers chastise it. Those with the maturity to handle this kind of extreme entertainment should also have the insight to read between the lines and see the subtext. These movies are NOT for children.
Quentin Tarantino is again executive producer, and Roth and his brother Gabe also made one of the trailers during “intermission” for Tarantino & Rodriguez’s
, entitled "Thanksgiving".

DVD Extras: On watching this movie again, more of its layers are exposed as you move past the initial effect of it being gratuitous torture-schlock. The commentaries reveal even more, and here you have several to choose from. Executive Producer Quentin Tarantino joins in with director Eli Roth chatting on all aspects of the production, from its inception through to the final product, including the subject of Roth’s fake trailer Thanks Giving for Tarantino & Rodriguez’s Grindhouse movies (would’ve been cool to include the trailer as an extra though!).
You also get making-of featurettes, a deleted scene, trailers, and a blooper reel.

4 / B
- PB

1 2 3 4 5 6
A - B - C

click below for the first Hostel

Click here for an exclusive interview with Gabriel Roth

never let a review decide for you, but for those who need a rating, see the Flamedrop scale below
6 - Volcanic
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temperature
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished

A: Multi-Viewing Potential

B: Could Enjoy A 2nd Look

C: Once Should Suffice

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