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Hostel (2005)

  Tags: Barbara Nedeljakova, blood, Derek Richardson, Eli Roth, gore, Hostel, Jan Vlasák, Jay Hernandez, Jennifer Lim, Mark Taylor, Petr Janis, Philip Waley, Rick Hoffman, torture porn

Your rating: None Average: 6.1 (18 votes)
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Eli Roth
95 minutes
Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson, Barbara Nedeljakova, Jan Vlasák, Jennifer Lim, Petr Janis, Rick Hoffman, Mark Taylor, Philip Waley

Writer/director Eli Roth hit the horror scene with Cabin Fever back in 2001, gaining fans and haters as he made his way up in the horror scene after its theatrical release via Lion's Gate. The film made a lot of promises, but didn't deliver the goods, at least, in my opinion. I wasn't sure what to expect from Eli's next project, but once I saw the trailer for his new film Hostel, I thought maybe he's finally redeemed himself from the mess that was Cabin Fever. Eli supposedly came up with the idea for this film after stumbling across a website that was referred to as some sort of murder vacation, where a willing individual would pay to be given the chance to torture and kill a stranger. This is most likely just a publicity ploy to possibly gain further interest from viewers.

Either way, a lot of fans had high hopes for this as it seemed to have balls-to-the-walls gore and show-no-mercy violence that was brought to the mainstream thanks to films like Saw. However, once the film was released the fans opinions were mixed. Although critics gave it fairly decent reviews, many genre fans went in expecting to see a lot of violence and action sequences, but instead got a 45-minute T&A fest with a few horny mofos lookin' to score. The movie really doesn't kick into gear until around 45-minutes, when our leads begin to disappear, leaving star Jay Hernandez to search for his friends and eventually end up in an old building that's home of the sick, twisted, and soon-to-be dead.

I admit that the movie does drag on a bit during the first half as we see nothing more than a lot of tits and a few friends going around Europe with hopes of getting laid. It's almost like this were another gross-out teen comedy along the lines of American Pie, only without all the hilarity whacky situations. Regardless, I felt it was a good way to explore our characters and eventually lead up to what we all knew what was going to happen. When the action does pick up, the film doesn't hold back on the gore, as we witness fingers being chopped off, a severed eyeball being cut from the stem, and lots and lots of blood. This is what we gore-fiends have been waiting the 45-minutes for.

Sadly, the gore sequences are relatively short, but the violence never died down a bit. In fact, the film seemed to get more violent as we approached our climax. It's clear to me that Eli Roth has evolved as a writer and director -- having less incoherent dialogue and scenes, such as what we saw in Cabin Fever, and focusing more on the characters and the story at hand. Of course, this film's storyline is thin as a piece of paper, but the outcome was something only a twisted horror fanatic like Eli could come up with. While watching the film, keep your eye out for Eli himself to make an incredibly short cameo as a stoner (again) and Japanese writer/director Takashi Miike (Ichi the Killer, Audition) makes a cool cameo appearance and even delivers a few lines.

Although this isn't the film that a lot of people expected it to be, I found myself enjoying the raw violence and gore that it offered in the second half. Worth a check, but don't expect a lot of action.

Posted on July 27, 2009 - 6:33am | FrighT MasteR