Thursday, December 12, 2013

Hostel (2005)

Director: Eli Roth

Writer: Eli Roth

Composer: Nathan Barr

Starring: Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson, Eythor Gudjonsson, Barbara Nedeljakova, Jan Vlasak, Jana Kaderabkova, Jennifer Lim, Keiko Seiko, Lubomir Bukovy, Jana Havlickova, Rick HOffman, Petr Janis, Takashi Miike, Patrik Zigo

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Welcome To Your Worst Nightmare

Plot: Paxton, Josh and Oli are backpacking across Europe when they are told about a hostel in Slovakia. Once they hear that this hostel is infested with beautiful European woman who only want tourists, they quickly get on a train to the wonderful promise land. As soon as they get there, they start having the time of their lives. Soon after they arrive, they slowly start to realize that this hostel is hiding a terrible and dark secret.

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.  The Blu-ray has just been ordered.

The first time I watched this I was pretty impressed.  There were things I didn't dig, though, like the choice of who escaped but there was also a lot to like.  Now that I just watched it a second time many years later, it's a better film than I remember.  Yeah, it still takes a while before the shit hits the fan (about an hour) but once it does, it's a great thrill ride filled with some cringing moments and lots of black humor.  The scene in the locker room with the American client (played deliciously by Rick Hoffman) is hilarious and it's worth the price of admission alone.  The bubblegum kids are a really nice touch, too.  Good score by Nathan Barr, by the way.  He's channeling some Bernard Herrmann from PSYCHO (1960) on one motif that's not all too well hidden but it's effective. This was a game changer in the horror movie genre.  It got a lot of shit for what's now called 'torture porn' for which there is some validity but it's really Eli Roth making a fun fucking movie that's doing something different.  It spawned a lot of copycats for better or worse.  I watched the sequel but I remember liking it mostly for getting to see the inner workings of how this whole setup starts for clients. One thing that I think helps this work is that in this day and age, something like this could really be happening.  It's not all that far-fetched.

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