Director: Eli Roth
Starring:Lauren German, Roger Bart, Heather Matarazzo, Bijou Phillips, Richard Burgi, Jay Hernandez, Edwige Fenech . USA/Slovakia/Iceland. 1h 34m
After the success of his 2005 slaherific body horror gore fest Hostel, Eli Roth returns with arguably much of the same but with a trio of girls at the helm of a hellride in Europe. There are some cute nods to the colourful survivors from the previous movie however I feel that Roth only gives us the same level of gore as before, rather than taking the film to higher levels of stomach churning buckets of blood, he plays it off with an intelligent and considered movie which expands the Hostile “universe” before it’s all shat down the pan in the third and final movie (to date).
Opening with a Paranoid Paxton (Hernandez) in a small cameo, as he attempts to hide out with his girlfriend in a secluded summerhome. He’s clearly suffering from PTSD, he lives on edge, filled with pills for his nerves and migraines as he attempts to keep an eye out for a follow up after his violent escape from a secret cult hidden deep in Europe.
After a touch of decapitation the film steps away from the familiar face of Paxton to a trio of charming American students decide to swing by Slovakia on their way home, Beth, Whitney, and Lorna, are convinced by Axelle, a nude model they are sketching, to join her on a luxurious spa vacation. On turning up to the Hostel we see another familiar face behind the counter. It’s these familairites that got fans so excited for the sequel, in fact a copy of the movie made it online and was shared through p2p so much it won the title of the most pirated movie to date, which possibly had a lot to do with its failings in the box office. So by now and still in the opening of the movie anyone who saw the original knows what’s coming next, so what surprises does the film hold?
Initially we see a bit more of the set up of how the auctions are set up. In a world where the rich elite can pay a secret group to kidnap random people for them to live out their sadistic fantasies, locking these unfortunates in dungeons to be tortured and killed is second nature now. The twist comes when a patreon wants to kill his wife, but he obviously can’t do that so his brother puts a hefty bid on a girl who looks just like his sister in law, we realise just how far and wide reaching the killer cult really is. While Beth is a target, there is no limit on also taking her companions with her, after all no witnesses is the best policy.
While the girls attempt to fit in and enjoy the autumn festival season, Beth at least notices a few strange going on’s she’s not just a pretty rich girl, she have a sharp eye and isn’t balled over by pretty trinkets of smiling mysterious strangers, her street smarts and keen eye keeps the pace of the film going otherwise it would have been over in minutes with the ditziness of her travelling companions. Between markets and cider filled festivals with frivolous traditional music and dancing, the little gang of children re appear wreaking havoc now and again, but they have a bigger role to play as their connection and fear of the “group” is more evident.
Obviously the kills are what really drew in the audience, there’s another range of sick individuals who have crazy fantasies to play out, most notable is a woman who thinks herself as a reincarnation of Ezerbret Bathory, together with her scythe and bathtub she has a desire for blood and knows how to make her victim bleed. There was some criticism for the amount of nudity in the first movie, and while Eli didn’t shy away fully there’s still a decent amount of nudity (not all female) but he had to edge around the censors with CGI nipples!? It’s hard to believe how censorship really affects movies but alas this is how politics affects cinema, so think about that the next time you vote!
The story incorporates the original movie, some of the cast and lots of the ideals, while it doesn’t double the fun it does remain a similar vein and is really strong in how to make a decent sequel, but without going beyond to give the audience more, but just some of the same it does let itself down, however I do feel that it wasn’t because the director wasn’t willing and able to but just restricted by censorship. Highly anticipated by stars as much as fans, Edwige Fenech, Ruggero Deodato, Daniel Frisch, Gabriel Roth all make cameos, Tarintino wanted to but has to make do with Pulp Fiction playing on a TV in the background.
A strong, valuable movie which doesn’t quite live up to expectations but had all the formula of a great Part II and a cracking little ending that made a few men squirm, a touch of feminism? Why not!?
R: Hostel (2005), Train (2009), The Collector (2009)#
L: 10 Torture Horrors Vol 1
5s: Eli Roth, Edwige Fenech,