Hostel Review

Hostel Review
Cast: Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson, Eythor Gudjonnson, Barbara Nedeljáková, Jana Kaderabková, Jan Vlasák, Rick Hoffman, Jennifer Lim
Director: Eli Roth
Screenplay: Eli Roth
Genre: Horror
Rated: R18+ high level horror violence, sex scenes
Running Time: 95 Minutes

Synopsis:
'Hostel' tells the story of two adventurous American college buddies Paxton and Josh who backpack through Europe eager to make quintessentially hazy travel memories with new friend Oli, an Icelander they've met along the way.

Paxton and Josh are eventually lure by a fellow traveller to what's described as a Nirvana for American backpackers - a particular hostel in an out-of-the-way Slovakian town stocked with Eastern European women as desperate as they are gorgeous. The two friends arrive and soon easily pair off with exotic beauties Natalya and Svetlana. In fact, too easily...

My Verdict:
Young Americans, Paxton (Jay Hernandez) and Josh (Derek Richardson) are backpacking their way around Europe, always on the look-out for sex if the opportunity arrives and always trying to maximise their enjoyment of their trip. Along with a fellow Icelandic backpacker who now accompanies them, Oli, they meet a man who suggests a hostel in Slovakia where the women are plentiful and always ready to please, especially Americans.

With an invitation they could hardly refuse, the trio sets off and discovers that the hostel does offer a bevy of women, but it also hides a dark secret that none of them could possibly imagine. In a race against time and a fight for his life, Paxton is the last member of the trio to survive the atrocities that emanate from a visit to this notorious hostel.

After many drunken nights with lots of sex and plenty of naked flesh - especially the female variety - the events slowly unfold as the men are drugged, kidnapped and tortured in horrendous ways with not much left to the imagination. The action happens in a disused factory (where else?) with much of the torture inflicted on the victims being hideous, bloody, grisly and very sickening, so if you have a weak stomach, forewarned is forearmed - this is never pretty. However, some of the scenes are actually so macabre and outrageous that they are funny in a morbid kind of way.

Predictably, one of the intended victims does outwit his captors but not before he stumbles upon the reason for the factory and some of the people he has met in his travels. So in a way, this movie does run the true course of a horror movie - the innocents unwittingly being knocked off one by one with a hero left to fight it out and live to tell but 'Hostel' seems to be intent on finding the grossest depiction.

With 'Hostel' writer/director Eli Roth has easily surpassed all heights of horror since his debut feature, 'Cabin Fever' (2002). He based his idea on a website that allegedly offered murders for profit and the script evolved from this premise, as horrifying as the reality is along with help from the renowned Quentin Tarantino - any movie that has Tarantino associated with it is bound to be shocking and indeed 'Hostel' certainly is (Tarantino is an executive producer).

For anyone who has ever backpacked, or is even contemplating a similar type of holiday, you will probably rethink your plans after seeing 'Hostel'. This is no scenic travelogue.

Rating : ** ½

Christina Bruce




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