US Release Date: 01-06-2006
Directed by: Eli Roth
- Jay Hernandez, as
- Derek Richardson, as
- Eythor Gudjonsson, as
- Barbara Nedeljakova, as
- Jana Kaderabkova, as
- Jan VlasÃ¡k as
- The Dutch Businessman
Hostel is first, foremost and, most importantly, only a gore-fest. It has no social message. It makes no political statement. It is simply an excuse to show lots of blood and dismembered body parts. Ok, it also uses every reason it can find to show plenty of naked girls.
Paxton and Josh are backpacking around Europe with a new friend they met on the road, Oli, from Iceland. In a Hostel in Amsterdam they hear from another apparent backpacker that there is a little known Hostel in Slovakia that is full of beautiful, easy to bed women. Being horny young Americans they believe this with only some pictures from his phone as proof.
Once at the remote hostel they immediately hook up with beautiful women and Oli comes up missing. Shortly there after Josh gets nabbed and taken to a dingy room where he gets violently tortured and later dissected. While looking for Josh, Paxton is led to an abandoned factory where he too is captured and put into a torture room.
The only payoff in watching this movie is discovering why all of these young backpackers are being nabbed and tortured. The reason is none too exciting but it kept me watching.
Jay Hernandez does a decent job in the lead considering that most of the movie he is either leering at girls, using the word "fuck" or surrounded by blood. He even has to speak in Dutch for several scenes. But what does any of that matter? This movie is only good for the tit shots and the gore, if you're into that.
I was bored this weekend and decided to watch a movie that I normally would never be interested in. Hostel was clearly aimed at a young male audience. Like Eric said there is a huge amount of gratuitous female nudity. Other than one quick shot of one of the male character's butt with eyes drawn on it there is no male nudity at all. There are also a few homophobic jokes. Clearly as a gay man I am not the target audience here.
The first half of the movie is like a soft core movie shown on Showtime late at night. The second half is an all out gore-fest. The plot and some of the actions are completely implausible but hey this is mindless entertainment in the truest sense of the word.
I could definitely see this becoming a cult movie in a “so bad it's good” kind of way. It has some decent shock value and the last 30 minutes is pretty action-packed. One thing this movie did was turn me off from ever staying at a hostel in Eastern Europe.
A bloody mess of a movie.
Eric, you say that Hostel doesn't contain a social message or a political statement as if that's a bad thing. Why would you want or expect a horror movie to have either? Isn't gore and nudity the two things that normally appear in a slasher film? Sure this movie takes it a bit further than most. Director Eli Roth's films are sometimes called gorno, as in a gory porno. If you were expecting more than that you must have walked into the wrong film.
So much of this movie is so far over the top I actually found quite a bit of it to be unintentionally funny; even the gory bits. I mean, you have a guy torching a woman's face. That's gross and unsettling, but then when you have her distended eye bulging from its socket and one of the other guys has to snip it with scissors and then pus oozes out, you've ventured beyond horror and entered into Pythonesque territory. They take everything as far as it can go and then take it far beyond that. I agree with you Patrick, this movie is so bad it's almost entertaining.
My biggest problem is that the good guys in the movie are such douche bags that I wouldn't have minded if they all got killed. When the movie opens and the frat boys are wandering around Amsterdam being obnoxious, my first thought was, "God, I hope all three of these guys get it." I was glad when I found out the hot chicks who were so quick to jump into bed with them were actually getting paid to do it. I hated to think they were actually hooking up with them because they liked them.
There are quite a few tit shots. Given how weak the movie is though, it would have taken a lot more of them to have improved it. Something like a pair of nipples appearing in the corner of the screen at all times might just about have made this watchable.
Photos © Copyright Columbia Pictures (2006)