Monday, April 17, 2006


Title: Hostel
Cast: Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson, Eythor Gudjonsson, Barbara Nedeljakova, Jan Vlasák, Jana Kaderabkova, Jennifer Lim, Keiko Seiko, Petr Janis, Takashi Miike
Director: Eli Roth

Two Americans are touring round Europe with an Icelandic guy they’ve hooked up with. They’ve reached Amsterdam – the latest stop of their search for pussy and drugs. But after a tour of the hash bars, clubs and red light district, they meet a man who assures them that the best women are East. So they head to a Hostel in Bratislava that he has recommended to them. The most absurdly plush backpacker’s hostel ever. Where they are greeted by a bevy of eager women, only too happy to feed them drops and pussy. But when their Icelandic friend disappears, it becomes clear that things are too good to be true.

Hostel is the latest film from the geniuses Quentin Tarantino and Eli Roth, at least that is how the trailers for the film put it. I would beg to differ, and had in fact planned to steer clear of the film in the first place. But sometimes you arrive at the cinema looking to see a film, only to find so few options suit your window of opportunity. That is my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

For a good chunk of the film Hostel bares more resemblance to a teen sex comedy like Euro Trip rather than the exceedingly shocking horror it claims to be. The last half hour is where things really change pace. And then it takes on more of the feel of a thriller, hinting that bad things are going to happen and that the lead must do his best to get away from those who would do the bad things to him. A certain grisliness does come to the fore as Hostel reaches a climax, providing a couple of uncomfortable moments. But in the end Hostel is surprisingly tame given its own hype, and overall it’s a pretty average film. The most interesting and bemusing aspect of the film is the cameo by Japanese director Takashi Miike, who naturally has more talent than anyone else associated with Hostel.

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