5.07.2009

HOSTEL PART II


As a fan of horror movies, I find it depressing that many "horror" movies are little more than exercises in sadism and torture. Thanks to cable television, I caught a prime example of this: Hostel Part II.

Proving that equality between the sexes isn't always a good thing, the three tourists captured to be tortured and killed in the first movie have been replaced with three female victims for this sequel. Whitney (Bijou Phillips) is the wild sexual one, Lorna (Heather Matarazzo, light years from Welcome to the Dollhouse) is the introverted, awkward one, and Beth (Lauren German) is the sensible, mature balance between the two. While touring Europe the trio are befriended by model Axelle (Vera Jordanova), who takes them to stay at a hostel in Slovakia. There their passport photos are sent to an auction where men and women bid for the victims. Two of the winners are eager American businessman Todd (Richard Burgi) and his reluctant friend Stuart (Roger Bart), who both think the experience will change them. (And a pre-credit sequence reveals the fate of a main character from the original Hostel.) Abduction, torture, and killing follow.

Hostel Part II certainly won't do anything for European tourism, but it also does nothing worthwhile for horror movies -- or movies in general. While sadism can play a vital role in horror -- be it the torments Ash goes through in the Evil Dead trilogy or the twisted family traditions of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre -- it can't be the sole reason for the film. And that's exactly what happens with Hostel Part II. The characters are all one-dimensional, there's a disquieting combination of stomach-churning gore and exploitative cruelty (it was hard for me to find pictures to use in this review that wouldn't be too unsettling) that aims for the basest of human instincts.

Director Eli Roth manages a little creativity during a chase at a Harvest Festival, but otherwise he gives nothing but sleaze and violence in Hostel Part II. Avoid this one at all costs.

Overall grade: F
Reviewed by James Lynch

1 comment:

Rob Sellers said...

Hostel 2 is the worst movie I've ever seen.