Review: Hostel - Part II
With a franchise such as Hostel, there are two ways of looking at it. On one hand it remains one of the very few horror movies and series to remain blood-drenched and hardcore in its R rated gore. On the other hand though this movie suffers from the same problem that made the first one so damn dull. The movie is all freakshow and no tension. Eli Roth seems to think that the only secret to horror is to basically show tons of gore, people being tortured, some nudity and indeed nothing else. For me this isn't the recipe for good horror. Indeed i've seen I Spit On Your Grave, Last House On The Left, Salo:Or 125 Days Of Sodom and Bloodsucking Freaks. Those movies are far more disturbing, disgusting and horrifying than anything in this lame franchise. (Though that's not a recommendation, Last House On The Left is the only one to rise above its sleaze factor and even then it's not for everyone.)
So the difference between this and the first movie, is that this time we get to see women tortured as opposed to men and I guess that teenage girls who are easily scared by the PG-13 remake out in theaters will be absoluately horrified. For me though? Not so much.
The movie of course revolves around three rich heiresses who unwisely take a detour to that infamous hotel where already people are bidding on who they can torture. (Were apparently supposed to be shocked that the wealthy are so casual about their bidding, which to me was far too obvious.) At least this time the explanation is more credible this time, as the one dangling the carrot tells our three girls that it's a spa that makes them feel heavenly. I mean it's not much but at least our heroines aren't dumb enough to believe that such a place would be a bigger party town than Amsterdam. Plus being these are rich girls, it makes sense that high maintence women would go to a place where they can get makeovers, soak in a spa and piss away money they inherited. Of course one would imagine that women this wealthy would have had hundreds of spa encounters over the years but I digress.
The movie is basically a long drawn out situation that basically lingers on the fact that our heroes don't seem to pick up on the obvious, (Two of my friends have disappeared, maybe I should get the fuck out of there!) and the movie basically goes from one predictable plot point to the next. It's basically playing on the fact that we will be horrified by the gore and that will be enough. Sadly unaware that without characters to care about, suspense in how our characters end up in such a grisly situation and villains that are more than just cardboard, the movie fails to deliver.
Also the biggest problem is, what's the point? I mean what is the message here? Is it that the rich are evil bastards (Obvious truth), That the europeans are fucked up with weird fetishes (Obvious) and that American timid nerd-like rejects go to feed their misogynist impulses due to the censorship of a politically correct society won't let them even make a sexist or racist joke? (Obvious once again.) That ripping of Friday The 13th Part 2's plot point is a good idea? That it would hurt like a motherfucker to have your cock cut off? Who cares?
The movie in its favor does sort of give us a tiny glimpse at the people behind the torture houses and that is easily the film's most interesting moments. I mean seriously ask yourself, what is scarier? Seeing rich, pretty women get butchered by people that are psychotic? Or someone who actually would go to such a house and torture women because of their sexual hangups or indeed anyone who would go into business to kill anonymous people because it paid well. Right there is potential for a truly frightening movie. However the movie is predictable boredom with unpleasant torture. Which in my mind isn't much of a movie.
I also want to note i'm not at all offended by this movie, it's genre or indeed the aspect of blood and guts. Rather i'm derailing this movie for the way it has nothing beyond its gore to recommend it. For a viewer who has seen everything this is all sleep inducing. Indeed the public outcry and controversy is lame since this is granting this movie power it doesn't have. I mean so a woman cuts up another woman and bathes into her blood. Big deal.
I however wanted to learn why such a woman would want to do such, why a man got his sexual hangups and indeed why someone would make such a torture house. I would also like to know why people think this movie is so disturbing and intense when in reality it's neither. It's also not entertaining either.
Hamlin Grade: 2.5
-Board certified professional safety dancer