Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Hostel: part deux

Where to start. I've been thinking about this movie since I saw it yesterday, trying to put it in perspective... how good is it? How bad is it? The answer is important to me as I had hopes that Eli Roth would be the future of horror.

With Hostel 1 Roth stole a bunch of kills from recent Asian horror films. Pretty amusing I thought. Unfortunately in Hostel 2, the movie's biggest kill is a rip off as well. Eli Roth, you already did the stealling thing, it's not so funny this time. Like in Hostel 1 where Roth pays off Takashi Miike by giving him a cameo in the film, this time Italian director Ruggero Deodato shows up.

At the same time, I'm told Roth has been hyping the ending of this film as a huge shock. "“There's one scene in this film that's gonna change horror history. Even the guys from [effects company] KNB looked away as we shot it, and those guys live and breathe that shit! It's special, I'm really proud!" Well, are you changing horror history or admitting it was already done by Deodato by putting him in your movie? Sounds like you are saying one thing to the mainstream press and one thing to the fans in the know.

I can say without a doubt that Hostel: Part II is not as good as Cabin Fever or Hostel.

There is some good stuff in there. Sadly, less stupid dialogue, though that is a plus for some. Many think Roth can't write dialogue, but I certainly enjoy the ridiculous chatter in his first two movies.

Roth does throw in a cool twist similar to his switching of the main characters in Hostel. I expected the main characters to switch here, but he did something else.

Unfortunately the opening scenes here are awful and scenes from Hostel 1 are shown in flashback - lame. The movie picks up with the introduction of new female main characters who are drawing a male model in an art school overseas - Italy I guess. Full frontal male nudity is shown. Retaliation for the criticisms Roth received due to all the naked girls strutting about in Hostel 1? I was amused.

Hostel 2's final scene (not the one I discussed above - but the very last kill that ends the movie) is implausible and somewhat of a let down. I wish I could say that this part was funny as it is clearly meant to be, but it's without a doubt inferior to a similar scene in the first Hostel. A nice attempt, but I'm pretty sure it is falling flat with most viewers.

At times this movie is a lot of fun. The villains steal the show. I actually am interested in the evil organization behind the killings in this series, whereas in the Saw movies I could give a shit about Jigsaw and his elaborate plans.

Hostel 2, highly enjoyable 75% of the time, but certainly a step backwards for Roth - who at this point may or may not be headed for greatness. I avoided the press about this movie prior to seeing it, but it would appear from what I've read on message boards that Roth was a little too outspoken about the film. People have been pretty polarized about this director for a while now, with a number of fans hating his guts. Perhaps he should stay off of the TV for a while, give those guys a little less ammunition.

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