Hostel: Part 2 Review
Country : USA
Running Time: 94 minutes
Distributor: Lions Gate
What Paxton and Josh endured last year was only a precursor to the unparalelled horror which three unsuspecting young lasses are about to encounter, as mankind's darkest fantasies will be plundered while the least suspecting of victims will be exploited. You will pray for day this time....
Written and Directed by Eli Roth. Starring Bijou Phillips, Richard Burgi, Lauren German, Heather Matarazzo, Roger Bart and Jay Hernandez.
You might want to get someone more objective than me to tell you about Hostel: Part 2, because quite simply, I love Eli Roth's films. I acknowledge that the sequel doesn’t hold a candle to its predecessor, but it's a damn solid follow up and I really enjoyed this film. It’s what a horror sequel should be.
Before we get started here, I have to address something that disturbs me more than the content of Hostel: Part 2. A few weeks ago it was brought to my attention that there was an early leak of the workprint of the film. I couldn't believe it, so I checked a few bit torrent sites. To my surprise 1595 people were downloading the 'Hostel2xvid.divx file'. As a filmmaker, I couldn't help but feel bad for Roth and pray that it didn't happen to me at some point down the road. Not only is the film going up against summer's blockbusters, but now it has to deal with this pirating shit? Most people downloaded the workprint (which was not finished) and then slammed it on IMDB and other various message boards. Writing bad reviews and spoiling crucial plot points and twists in the film. Shame on you people! You actually have the balls to call yourselves horror fans? Hate Eli Roth and his films all you like, but at least he is trying to do something good for the genre. So, with that said... I waited like a good fanboy until Friday night at 9:40, and plunked my $8 down at the local multiplex, and enjoyed the film the way it was intended to be seen. Complete, in the theater, and in DLP I might add which just makes an film that much better.
First off, the sequel picks up exactly where the original left off. Paxton (Jay Hernandez) is found on the train and his story is wrapped up rather nicely in the first ten minutes of the film and has nothing to do with the rest of the film. You could actually watch both films in succession and they simply fit. Of course, you’d notice how the first ten minutes is truly scary and disturbing, while the second ninety minutes is equally as scary and disturbing....but ups the gore quotient quite a but as most sequels do. Rather than focus on the men this time around, the sequel follows three young American girls studying in Rome. When they set off for a weekend trip, they run into a beautiful model from one of their art classes. Also on her way to an exotic destination, the gorgeous European invites the coeds to come along, assuring them they will be able to relax and rejuvenate. I don't need to tell you the rest of the story, as you already know they are set to become pawns for the evil 'Elite Hunting' company. From there, we meet two American business men who are the winning bidders for two of the girls and witness their journey into madness. We get to see just exactly how deep rooted the company is and that in itself is one of the most disturbing points in the film.
Roth casted the film very well. Lauren German plays the heroine Beth, who is sensible, yet vulnerable. But winds up tough as nails by the end of the film. Bijou Phillips is given ample opportunity to chew the scenery as she expounds on her own personality, the carefree party girl....numerous times. Heather Matarazzo has a brief yet memorable role as the mousy virgin who ends up on the wrong side of the river so to speak, and Roger Bart and Richard Burgi play the business men out for blood to the tee. Being from a corporate enviroment myself, Roth totally nailed these guys in both look and attitude. I can totally imagine my boss being one of these depraved sickos. Too much money, and way too much time on their hands. Vera Jordanova plays the evil lolita Axelle, but doesen't quite nail it like Barbara Nedeljakova did in the first film.
Some awesome cameos abound. One of my favorite all time directors Rugerro Deodato, director of Cannibal Holocaust fittingly plays a cannibal, and legendary Edwige Fenech (Strip Nude For Your Killer) cameos as an art teacher. As with the Miike cameo in the orginal, little details like that make it all worth while for fanboys like me. Roth also makes another cameo in the film, but you have to really look for him. This sequel deserves a lot of credit for staying on track with its predecessor and succeeding all the way. It might be journeying out on a limb to say that Hostel: Part 2 is the better than the original in characterization and story, but I still prefer the orginal experience. I mean, I got to host the first American screening of the original Hostel with Eli and Barbara in attendance, so I guess I'm a little sentimental.
Compared to the so-called horror films we get these days, this one should be considered The Godfather of horror films. Every theater showing this film should be contractually obligated to smell bad and have your feet stick to the floor. It's a toxic little grindhouse picture, one that seems to get off on its own aggression and relentlessly violates the audience's comfort zones without any semblance of mercy. I saw three people get up and walk out on the film and by God that is good filmmaking, people. I dare say this is Eli Roth's best film to date direction wise and represents a quantum leap forward for the filmmaker.
Hostel: Part 2 is a horror movie for people who still remember when horror movies had enough balls to actually be horrifying, the film is a pungent rebuke to Hollywood's flashy shlock remakes and a big middle finger for all those J-horror, PG-13 Ring-folks who think dripping water is inherently scary. Hostel: Part 2 is a movie for the children of Fulci, and it's one we deserve.
ELI ROTH AND BIJOU PHILLIPS 2007 INTERVIEW
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Review by John Gray, for Pitofhorror.com