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Hostel: Part II (2007)

  Tags: Bijou Phillips, blood, Eli Roth, gore, Heather Matarazzo, Hostel, Jay Hernandez, Jordan Ladd, Lauren German, Richard Burgi, Roger Bart, torture porn, Vera Jordanova

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Eli Roth
93 minutes
Jay Hernandez, Lauren German, Heather Matarazzo, Bijou Phillips, Vera Jordanova, Roger Bart, Richard Burgi, Jordan Ladd

Eli Roth is a prime example of how you don't necessarily need a lot of talent to make it big in the movie business. Much of what he delivers has already been done and seen by hardcore fans of the genre, but a majority of the mainstream audience hasn't witnessed such gore and violence, which is essentially why he's so popular (with the younger crowed mostly) and why his films make so much at the box office. With zero dependency on story-telling, Eli puts all his efforts on sheer gore, hoping to shock the audience into buying his DVDs and movie tickets. It's films like Saw and Hostel that began this whole ridiculous torture and violence faze that we're seeing more and more on DVD shelves and movie theaters now-a-days.

The first Hostel was slow in the first half, but gave us an original story and a lot of gore to make up for the rest of the film. I personally liked the movie, because it offered us an intriguing premise about an underground snuff club for the wealthy, but the movie left many questions unanswered. Budgeted at less than $5-million, it went on to make a little more than $47-million worldwide. The film left an opening for a sequel, where many of us were hoping to see a resolution to the events that unfolded in the first movie, namely with Jay Hernandez's character.

A bootlegged workprint of Hostel: Part II appeared with sidewalk-vendors and online communities a few weeks before the film's theatrical release, which led many fans and viewers who normally don't download movies to take advantage of this rare opportunity and see the film before the official release. This will likely play a toll on the movie's eventual box office totals, but also save a lot of people from wasting their cash on a potentially crappy film. Those hoping to get a resolution and more answers behind the organization will be sorely disappointed -- the movie turned out to be pretty much a rehash of the first film, with slightly more background on how they do things behind the scenes.

Jay Hernandez? Don't expect to see in the movie for long; a pity how that storyline concluded. So, with this new film we follow three girls -- the "slut" played by Bijou Phillips; the "average girl" played by Lauren German; and the "annoying dork" played by Heather Matarazzo. The girls are tempted by a beautiful local (Vera Jordanova) to visit a grand hot springs (as opposed to promise of guaranteed poon-tang in the first) and of course they oblige. The girls are eventually split up and taken one-by-one and brought to the very same place we encountered in the first.

We're shown a little on how things are done behind the organization by following a man who has been recently recruited by his friend. We're given an idea on who runs it and how a group of wealthy business men from around the world are sent a picture of a victim on their computer or PDA, from which they'll have a bidding war, with the winner being the "lucky guy" who'll get to torture and eventually murder the poor individual. At one point we're also shown what goes on behind the doors of other torture chambers, with one scene involving a man strapped down, with his torturer slice off chunks of meat from his leg and placing it on a plate and eating it with a knife and fork.

Scenes like this weren't expanded on, and neither are other sequences that could have offered more answers and interesting situations. This sequel offered a more serious tone than the first, and despite having female leads, offered even less nudity. Although the killings don't kick off until the half-way mark (much like the previous movie), it wasn't as slow-paced, since we were following the new recruit as well as the girls.

When it came down to the gore, I have to say that this does top the original, especially with the events that unfolded towards the end, but still, once the credits rolled after the ridiculous climax, I was left saying "is that it?," and yes sadly, that was it. We're pretty much just given little-to-no background on our characters, so we don't care about them, and we're left with no actual resolution to the story. This was essentially just another telling of a group of friends being tortured and murdered and nothing more.

Eli has said that he doesn't plan on doing another sequel, but that doesn't mean the studios won't squeeze out another one if that means more money for them. Hell, I'm sure they'll even go the direct-to-DVD route if they have to. Hopefully this won't be the case, but if another one does come out, at least give us a resolution to this madness! And yes, the dorky guy that approaches one of the leads at the festival (and seen again in a truck) is Eli Roth with prosthetic teeth.

The movie is pretty much just a rehash of the first film, just with a little more of an idea on what goes on behind the organization. The gore is amped up, but the nudity and comedic tone that was apparent in the first, has been slimmed down. The film is more hollow than the previous installment and less effective story-wise, especially since we're given no background on the female leads. In the end this movie is nothing more than another set of victims getting tortured and killed, with no actual resolution to the story that many of us were hoping for.

Posted on July 27, 2009 - 6:38am | FrighT MasteR