Viewed – 03 July 2007 Cinema
I had high hopes for this, the third film from maverick horror geek Eli Roth, and the follow up to an imaginative if under-realised torture / survival yarn that had one of the best concepts in horror for a long time. That accomplished blend of everything us die-hard horror fans lust for pretty much delivered on all scales, even if it lacked a few brain cells during its closing moments.
So with the promise of a bigger budget, and publicity stills showing a women coated in blood and some promising teaser trailers – surely this could only top what Part 1 had promised? So lets start with the story, again three friends, this time all women (ooh, imaginative! Although initially I liked the idea), are back-packing in Slovakia and befriend a local model at an art class, and soon they arrive at the infamous Hostel, party into the wee small hours, then fall prey to the underground murder club that now seems to have a whispered, world-wide following. This time we get to see much more about what the club is all about and how it works (including disturbing text-message auctions putting different people’s lives up to the highest bidder), and are also introduced to two business men thirsty for their first kill. These two friends treat the prospect of paid freedom to torture and kill like visiting a brothel, and that brings home just how believable the idea is – you must ask yourself repeatedly, could this kind of place really exist?
Yet like I said, I had high hopes, and even though this does add more meat to the idea, and flesh it out, Roth still doesn’t seem to care about the little things…like plot, narrative or any sense of convincing behaviour – once again people act in ways you can’t even hope to believe, or things happen that have no real reason or sense other than to throw in another bit of gore or a punch-the-air payback! Saying that, when asked to deliver the gore…he does have iron-clad balls especially in one sequence involving a strung upside-down, gagged and naked girl – oh my god! Previously I had not seen anything even remotely as shocking as this outside of Italian or Japanese video nasties. Hats off to you for that one, Eli – but answer me this? Was you given a deal? Did the studio allow this one sequence and tell you to tame the hell out of everything else?
So in the end, I think Eli Roth stumbled on one of the best ideas around – but now I believe, after watching this, he wasn’t the right man for the job. He just hasn’t got what it takes to make this what it could have been.
Verdict: 2 /5