Hostel (18)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner22/03/2006

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 95 mins

Hostel is a well made, grisly horror flick with a clever twist, but the scenes of pain and torture are extremely difficult to sit through.

What’s it all about?
Eli Roth’s follow-up to Cabin Fever stars Jay Hernandez and Derek Richardson as Paxton and John, two American high school graduates who are backpacking around Europe before university starts. Having already picked up goofy Icelander Oli (Eythor Gudjonsson) they settle down for a serious sex and drugs binge in Amsterdam, where they hear of a legendary Slovakian hostel full of sex-starved women who go crazy for American accents.

The boys discover that the hostel is indeed full of beautiful half-naked women, but when Oli goes missing it isn’t long before they find themselves knee-deep in an underground world of murder and torture.

The Bad
Eli Roth has clearly seen way too many video nasties than can strictly be considered healthy. The first half of the film is wall-to-wall gratuitous sex and violence, and not always in a good way.

Similarly, the scenes of torture and pain are extremely difficult to sit through, particularly because you sense that Roth is enjoying himself just a little too much. It’s rather similar to Wolf Creek in this respect – well made, but you can’t imagine anyone willingly subjecting themselves to this much on screen agony.

The Good
That said, once the twist is revealed, the film becomes a lot more interesting and genuinely creepy. The performances are good (especially rising star Hernandez) and there’s a bravura sequence involving the world’s biggest coincidence that’s a definite crowd-pleaser. The film could have used a little more humour along these lines.

Worth seeing?
In short, if you’re a fan of gore-splattered horror then you can probably go ahead and add an extra star, but otherwise, this is strictly for the strong of stomach.

Film Trailer

Hostel (18)
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Content updated: 23/10/2017 14:33

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