HOSTEL- 2005/HOSTEL 2- 2007. A JOINT REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
HOSTEL- 2005. PRESENTED BY QUENTIN TARANTINO. WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY ELI ROTH. STARRING DEREK RICHARDSON, EYTHOR GUDJONSSON, BARBARA NEDELJAKOVA, JANA KADERABKOVA, PETR JANIŠ AND RICK HOFFMAN.
HOSTEL 2- 2007. PRESENTED BY QUENTIN TARANTINO. WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY ELI ROTH. STARRING LAUREN GERMAN, ROGER BART, HEATHER MATARAZZO, BIJOU PHILLIPS, VERA JORDANOVA AND RICHARD BURGI.
I’ve only just been introduced to this particular horror franchise and I have to say that it totally blew me away. I’m going to review the first two films together as they’re so similar and the second one literally flows seamlessly into the other. Now, call me a greenhorn but the concepts explored in the two films have never actually made it onto my radar before, making my little movie marathon all the more shocking and educationally eye-opening. I blame my sheltered upbringing, haha.
Okay, here’s the deal. It’s the exact same for both films. A group of healthy, attractive young American students are backpacking through/travelling around/studying in Europe. In HOSTEL, it’s three guys: Handsome Paxton, shy, nerdy Josh and Icelandic Oli whom they meet on their travels. In HOSTEL 2, we have three females: slutty party girl Whitney, nerdy Lorna and attractive rich girl Beth. Are you with me so far? Right. Let’s move on…
Each set of young people meets someone, coincidentally it seems, who tells them about this marvellous, magical place in Slovakia where they will find everything they’re looking for without any trouble at all. The boys are told by a guy called ‘Alex’ that he knows where the best ‘pussy’ in Europe is, and he has pictures on his phone to prove it. The girls are tempted by a beautiful chick called ‘Axelle,’ who tells them she knows of a wonderful ‘spa’ where they can relax, be pampered and escape totally from the kind of scuzzy guys who’ve been pursuing them on their travels up to now.
The two groups of students are told about this cool, cheap hostel where they can stay while they’re having all this amazing fun and stuff. Sounds great, the students reply without hesitation or exception. The stage is set for a nightmare worse than anything the young Americans could ever have envisioned in their worst… well, nightmares, haha. Let’s just say that they have no idea what sort of world they’ve entered into or what’s in store for them when they get there. They couldn’t possibly have. It’s way too scary.
One by one, the terrified students find out exactly why they’ve been lured to this bleak, isolated part of Eastern Europe. They’ve become the victims of a group of people called ELITE HUNTING. Rich businessmen- and women- pay huge sums of money to be permitted to torture and murder young men and women within the confines of an enormous abandoned factory somewhere in Slovakia.
They can dress up, act out scenarios and indulge their wildest, sickest dreams, as long as they have the super-spondulix to pay for it. They are provided with the weapons, instruments and costumes of their choice. They have chainsaws, drills, hammers, knives, guns and basically every means of slaughter you can think of at their disposal.
The members of this exclusive ‘club’ all sport a bloodhound tattoo and they must agree to kill their ‘prey’ before leaving the torture rooms. They enter into a contract which seems to be unbreakable. There are huge, shaven-headed security guards, savage killer dogs and security cameras in place to ensure that things go according to plan. In HOSTEL 2, we are shown much more about how the system works. It’s truly frightening to see these rich men and women all over the world getting photos sent to their phones of the ‘fresh meat’ that’s just rocked up unsuspectingly in darkest Slovakia…
I loved HOSTEL but HOSTEL 2 is better. HOSTEL certainly has some toe-curling, eye-popping horror (snigger, those are two giant clues right there), but HOSTEL 2 has the famous ‘Bathory’ scene in which a wealthy woman bathes in the blood of a young, innocent girl who’s crying for her mother. It also has the blackly humorous ‘special offer’ scene, the Hannibal Lecter scene, complete with loud opera-style music, and cinema’s sickest ever game of football.
HOSTEL 2 also stars two of the men from ‘Noughties sensation DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES. I don’t know whether that would be a draw for you or not, haha. One of them, the guy who played Susan’s ex-husband Karl, is a nasty piece of work who thinks that killing a defenceless woman is going to make him a real man. Has he got what it takes to go through with it, though?
The other guy- he played one of Bree’s weedy husbands; I think he was a chemist or something- is just as weedy here as he was in DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES. He plays a man who hates his wife but who hasn’t the balls (big clue for you right there!) to divorce her or even stand up to her. He fondly imagines that killing someone who looks like her will make him feel better. Does he succeed in his mission or does he just make a gigantic cock-up of the whole thing…? Another huge hint for you right there, by the way…!
Watch out for ‘Edward Salad-Hands’ in HOSTEL and also a funky mix of ‘Willow’s Song’ from cult movie classic THE WICKER MAN during a sex scene in the same film. If you like beautiful, sexy-accented Eastern European women (is there any other kind…?), you’ll enjoy HOSTEL. If you like your horror sick, gory, bloody and involving body parts, you’ll love both of these films. I didn’t know until I watched HOSTEL and HOSTEL 2 that I did dig this kind of extreme splatter-fest but hey, whaddya know…? I guess I just done busted my gore-cherry…
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.
Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.
She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at:
1) ‘… BY A WOMAN WALKING HER DOG…’
2) A WRITER’S JOURNEY
3) ANNA MEETS COUNT DRACULA
4) ANOTHER FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR…
5) CANCER BALLS
6) CATCH OF THE DAY
7) FIFTY FILTHY-DIRTY SEX-POEMS YOU MUST READ BEFORE I DIE.
8) FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR…
9) THE DEVIANTS
10) VISITING DAY