Hostel Part II: Is Actually Good! Michelle’s Review.

Movie ReviewGenerally speaking, I’m the wrong person to review a horror
film as I’m not particularly a fan of the genre. Call me crazy but I just don’t
get the thrill of being terrified and having nightmares. So avoid most horror
films, especially ones that seem like it’s nothing more than Torture Porn. Like
the first Hostel, from all reports set new lows for the genre, so I didn’t see
it. Against my better judgment I decided
to check out Hostel: Part II and to my shock, I liked it a lot.

What surprised me most about Hostel: Part II is that it’s
more than just torture porn, it’s actually a real movie with, like a story and
some acting, and cinematography and stuff like that. Who knew?
I expected to be disgusted with all the blood and guts. Other than one
scene that was pretty bad – one of the sickest things I’ve seen on film the
killings were actually pretty pedestrian. The first kill (not counting the
opening one) occurs about 45 minutes into the film and it’s only a 90 minute
movie.

If you are well connected and wealthy you can join an
exclusive club that allows you to kill people in a secure location. The organizers provide you with everything
you need to torture your victim in anyway your twisted mind can think of. Why would a Rich businessman do this -because
they can.

Hostel: Part II works in large part because Writer/Director Eli Roth actually takes the time
to build the characters, everyone from the victims – the uptight, homely Lorna
(Heather Matarazzo), the
party girl, Whitney (Bijou
Phillips
) and the smart, responsible Beth (Lauren German) to the rich smuck, Todd (Richard Burgi) who pay a mysterious Prague Organization to
capture a couple of girls to murder as a gift for his timid brother Stuart (Roger Bart).

The entire film is fused with a real sense of menace and
pure evil. The Prague setting looks dirty and grimy, there’s nothing romantic
about it. You start to wonder why are these tourist there to begin with.

When Beth turns down an opportunity to stay at the Four
Seasons at the beginning of the film, my first reaction was how dumb is this
film going to be. But Roth surprised me
by making an intelligent horror film. Or as intelligent as a horror film could
be and that’s primarily because Beth is the hi-dollar target and you keep
waiting for her to do the dumb horror heroine thing and get captured, so we can
get on with the killing.

But Roth makes you wait for it, you keep expecting it to
come and it doesn’t until much later. By the time the first brutal scene
occurs, you almost feel dirty because you are waiting and ready for it. Luckily this moment and the twist at the end
are the only two really bad moments. Everything else is more psychological than
really graphic. I mean sure you get your beheadings, but it’s nothing that
hasn’t been in a thousand other horror films and in Hostel the beheadings are
really pretty cheesy.

Beth is smart and savvy she never puts herself in a
situation where it would be easy to grab her. It’s a real cat and mouse game,
only Beth doesn’t know that she’s playing it. She even has conversations with
Stuart and you keep thinking to yourself, ok this is when they are finally going
to get her and Roth never takes the easy way out. How they eventually trap her,
would happen to any of us (granted I wouldn’t be staying at some crummy Hostel
if I could be in a Four seasons).

The twist that Roth throws at us at the end works, it’s
logical, makes perfect sense and makes you go yeah, "You go
girl!"

Hostel: Part Two came as a really pleasant surprise, like I
said at the beginning, I really didn’t want to see this, but I’m glad I did.
This is a well crafted horror film that works precisely because the gore isn’t
what you think it’ll be.

Final Grade B

 

EM Review by
Michelle Alexandria
Originally Posted 06/10/07

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