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Hostel (2005)
USA / English
"Welcome To Your Worst Nightmare "
Three backpackers head to a Slovakian city that promises to meet their hedonistic expectations, with no idea of the hell that awaits them.
Jay Hernandez Paxton
Derek Richardson Josh
Eythor Gudjonsson Oli
Barbara Nedeljakova Natalya
Jan Vlasák The Dutch Businessman
Jana Kaderabkova Svetlana
Jennifer Lim Kana
Keiko Seiko Yuki
Lubomir Bukovy Alex
Jana Havlickova Vala
Rick Hoffman The American Client
Petr Janis The German Surgeon
Takashi Miike Miike Takashi
Patrik Zigo Bubble Gum Gang Leader
Milda Jedi Havlas Desk Clerk Jedi
Director: Eli Roth
Producer: Chris Briggs,Mike Fleiss,Eli Roth
Writer: Eli Roth
Appalling (for all the wrong reasons)
Let me begin by stating that I am a huge horror fan, and have enjoyed horror films from the length and breadth of cinema, from Carl Dreyer to Lucio Fulci, from George Romero to Andy Milligan. I'm not squeamish (I'm a big Takashi Miike fan) and love the kind of down and dirty no budget horror (Evil Dead, Texas Chainsaw Massacre) from which Eli Roth takes his cue. I'd seen and disliked Cabin Fever (outrageously derivative, poorly acted, very dull) but was willing to give Roth another chance. Silly me.

Hostel is a badly written, badly directed, terribly shot and (considering the content) remarkably dull and conservative horror film. The central premise (backpacking Americans find themselves in gruesome trouble in Eastern Europe) is severely underwritten, and the viewer gets the impression that Roth had to write about an hour of filler to accompany the thirty minutes of gruesome scenes he had in mind. This ninety minute film takes, believe it or not, forty five minutes to actually establish some kind of plot or drive. Worse, Roth isn't even a good director of horror - an important early visual reveal, intended to let viewers know what they're in for, is just thrown away, leaving instead unpleasantness for unpleasantness' sake.

Indeed, the film is never remotely scary, focusing instead on fetishised (and in some cases, extremely poor) gore make up effects. One 'eye injury' effect in particular would embarrass Lucio Fulci, and he was making horrors thirty years ago, with a fraction of Roth's budget. What's more, there are uncomfortable overtones of racism and homophobia, like the gritty earnestness of low budget 70s horror injected with a moronic frat-boy stupidity.

So to recap: not scary, frequently very dull, racist, and (for gore afficionados) not nearly as gruesome as the advertising would have you believe. If you've seen virtually any Takashi Miike film (especially the uncut Ichi The Killer) this will look very tame in comparison. Absolute garbage. Don't waste your time.

Seen it:Ja
Nr of disks/tapes:1
Storage device:Divx 1
Imdb rating: 5.8
Musician: Nathan Barr
Running time: 93 min (cut)
Everything else:
Last modified: 2007-07-19 20:15:4