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Movie Review: Hostel: Part II

Hostel: Part II
Written and directed by Eli Roth

Hostel: Part II suffers in the exact same way that all horror sequels suffer: by already having the cat out of the bag, there can’t be much suspense left for a new chapter.  And then, even if that doesn’t matter to you, it doesn’t have any reason for existing: nothing new to say, no new approach, just new actors to get tortured in some “new” way.  And that’s all Eli Roth is really selling here.

Hostel 2 tries, in some half-assed way, to be a little different.  The victims have changed from mostly guys to girls, and we have a little more insight behind-the-scenes with the killers and the organization that allows these killers to fulfill their sick fantasies.  Our “main” character is Beth (Lauren German) and her friend Whitney (Bijou Phillips), who are in Italy painting nude models and then decide to go on a European trip.  One of the said models, Axelle (Vera Jordanova) seems to have a thing for Beth, but is immediately transparent to anyone who has seen the original Hostel and, well, anyone with common sense.  She ends up on the train ride.

Somehow, unpopular Lorna (always-awkward Heather Matarazzo) gets to tag along, and eventually Axelle leads the crew to the Hostel where we know people are getting seduced into being kidnapped and sent to the awful warehouse where rich people can, for a fee, slice and dice them at will.  The two we follow here are Desperate Housewives vets Richard Burgi and Roger Bart.  Burgi’s Todd seems gung ho about the prospect of killing and Bart’s Stuart is a bit squeamish.  So heavy-handed are these characterizations, most any veteran movie watcher will know what happens.

And so it goes.  Characters I really didn’t give a crap about on both sides of the arrangement add up to not very much fun on the whole.  At least in the original Hostel, it looked like Roth wanted us to give a damn, and he set up the world in a very creepy manner.  When you’ve done it once, you probably aren’t as interested the next time around, especially if your story is pretty much the exact same, and you probably secretly hope that the original’s mood will carry over into the second film.  It doesn’t work that way.  Each film must stand alone; you build them like you would a house.

Roth, for whatever reason, has attracted the attention of Quentin Tarantino over the years, and so his movies have that added “prestige” factor through association.  But he’s going to have to do a lot better than this.  The way I see it, with Cabin Fever and the Hostel movies, he’s got a long way to go before he becomes a must-see director.

Follows: Hostel  


Comment from John Bruss
Time: June 15, 2007, 10:07 am

I have to agree with all you said. It was the exact same story but with females. The only twist was the two “hunters” and a LOT less hot nudes. After the previews offered “the most shocking ending in horror movie history”, I got interested in seeing what would happen. Throughout the whole movie I kept trying to figure out a huge twist or shocking revelation. However, the ending isn’t so much as shocking in a Saw type way as it is a “can’t believe they got away with that” ending. Just like the first one, watchable for some gore, but highly disappointing

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