Directed by: Eli Roth (Cabin Fever)
Starring: Jay Hernandez and a bunch of stinky European whores.
Hostel is the sophomore effort from Eli Roth, whose first entry was the bloody cult hit “Cabin Fever.” While not a big fan of “Cabin Fever,” I did recognize the talent involved. Roth had an eye for gore, cinematic manipulation, and a feel for the B-movie creepiness that is nearly gone today.
With “Hostel,” Roth is able to further explore his gory B-moviedom with glee. A very mildly budgeted film, Roth makes the most of the material, cast, crew, and locations.
The story centers on three men backpacking through Europe looking to fuck as many women as possible in as many places as possible. And maybe go to a museum. The trio is led by Jay Hernandez, who you may remember as the guy that was fucking Kirsten Dunst in the uber-turd “Crazy/Beautiful.”
Hernandez is your typical frat-boy male, full of testosterone and arrogance, while his best friend is a repressed writer. Their third friend is an Icelandic man named Olie who says “Of Course, my Horse” a lot.
There’s a lot of set-up as we get to see these guy’s misadventures in getting prostitutes, getting kicked out of clubs and drinking themselves stupid. Your typical Eurotrip.
Then, they run into a creepy guy named Alex, who shows them pictures of lots of hot, naked European sluts and tells the men where to go to find a bevy of women just like that. The boys eat it up and take the first train out.
The train takes them to a Slovakian country (the real name escapes me) and they head to the local Hostel (in case you don’t know, hostel is the same as a hotel in Europe…stupid.)
Anyways, the poor boys are forced to stay in a room with, yup, you guessed it, two hot European sluts. The sluts invite the boys down to the spa and they follow. We are treated to lots of nudity, but nothing shocking.
The two European sluts are hot in that heavy make up, Russian accent, twigged bodied kind of way. To me, they seem to ooze the word STD. If I were single and in Europe and on a backpacking trip (fuck it, while we’re creating what ifs, I also have super powers and ten million dollars in my left pocket) I’d probably wear at least three condoms and pour alcohol and hydrogen peroxide on the bumping uglies, just to be safe.
Then, I’d burn the bed.
Anyways, the boys get lucky and pork the Euro-sluts. It’s a great night of drunken debauchery. Then, the next morning their buddy Ollie is missing and they look around for him. No dice.
They start to feel weird about it and decide to take off. Enough is enough. But, the allure of the Euro-sluts drags them back in and they give it one more night. This time the wussy-writer passes out and awakens in a dungeon-like room, filled with all types of sharp tools and power tools.
Obviously, he’s fucking scared.
Then a man enters the room, wearing a rubber suit and gloves and SARS mask. He approaches and is revealed to be a man from the train the boys rode in on. The wussy-writer pleads for his life but is instead tortured, cut, drilled, etc. He’s toyed with and then finally killed.
There, I ruined the movie for ya.
Anyways, Hernandez wakes up the next day and can’t find his pal so he goes searching. He finds the Euro-sluts in a bar and questions them. They’re different this time, no make up, pimples exposed, eyes dead. They look like dried up prostitutes that are in need of a fix.
Hernandez demands to know where his friends are and one of the sluts tells him she’ll show him. Hernandez rides in the car with her and they head to a big, abandoned industrial complex. The Euro-slut escorts him in and leads him down a darkened hallway.
Apprehensive, Hernandez follows and walks by a series of rooms, each one containing a man torturing someone in some very creative way. Obviously he freaks and is suddenly grabbed and taken into a room to be tortured himself.
Now, I’d ruin the whole thing if I told you what happened from here, but rest assured it’s one of the best “revenge” plots to come around in a while. The audience was cheering and laughing with each little incident from this point to the end, all of which wrapped the movie up in a nice little package.
“Hostel” is a nicely crafted B-movie, done with style, wit, and a sharp eye towards the great movie horror tricks. Roth is a true talent and I look forward to seeing what he has to offer up in the future. With a $20 million opening weekend a “Hostel 2” is already in the cards and that’s good. It’s nice to see a filmmaker work with a small budget and put some heart and creativity into his work, rather than take a huge chunk of change to make some paint-by-numbers summer tent pole flick.
The gore is pretty good, but not above and beyond. Perhaps I am desensitized to gore, having seen way too much of the real deal to ever make a comparison, but the gore here is good, not great. It’s enjoyable enough to fit the film and I’m sure that’s enough for most people.
Movie Grade: B+