Viewed – 08 August 2008  DVD

Horror movies these days take what we grew up on in the eighties / 90s and slaps them around the face.  They go for the jugular, and are on a whole a lot nastier and more ferocious than ever.  Take the Saw franchise, the remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Hostel 2 for example and we are living in an age, where almost anything goes.  Now thats either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you feel towards extreme cinema.

This stylish French take on the recent uprising or ‘torture porn’ as labelled by critics these days, follows in the wake of that other French treat Switchblade Romance (aka Haute Tension) and gives us a movie that pulls no punches.  Xavier (Hitman) Genz’ film follows a group of friends (3 guys and a girl) who after escaping riots during a political uprising in what appears to be a near-future Paris, they take refuge in a local Hostel that turns out to be run by a family of degenerate Nazi serial killers.

Although the opening act kind of gives you the feeling of a very different film, this is similar to Texas Chainsaw and Hostel where at first unassuming strangers turn out to be psychotic nutcases, and it all about who will survive to face the end credits.  Like Switchblade this wallows excessively in the nasty stuff, with some stand-out blood soaked killings, helped by some good atmosphere and build up and genuinely scary villains (especially the Nazi father).  The story seems also to have a lot more detail to it than similar fair, with some real depth to the characters, especially the villains, although little light is shed on the rioting and the main heroic characters backgrounds – resulting in little care or understanding for their situation.

Still, this is a horror movie that truly shows how far such material can be pushed, and you wont come away without feeling more than a little shaken.  Quality carnage.

Verdict: 4 /5

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