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  Publicity Stills of "Hostel: Part II"
(Courtesy from Columbia TriStar)

Genre: Horror/Thriller
Director: Eli Roth
Cast: Lauren German, Heather Matarazzo, Bijou Phillips, Roger Bart
RunTime: 1 hr 34 mins
Released By: Columbia TriStar
Rating: R21 (Violence And Gore)

Official Website: www.hostel2.com

Opening Day: 9 August 2007


The story follows three women who, while studying abroad for the summer, learn the grim truth behind the Slovakian hostel and its international counterparts. German would play a wealthy girl trying to figure out her next step in life, Phillips would be her best friend and Matarazzo will be a tag-along.

Movie Review:

No matter what your opinions are on ‘torture porn’, there’s really only one argument about the whole sub-genre that really has to matter, whether it holds up as any sort of entertainment value, again despite being quote unquote repulsive to the individual. “Hostel: Part II” exists for a reason, simply because there is an audience for it. And it is a different beast borne from the brouhaha its predecessor started over the critical worth of such conspicuously successful deviations of shock horror. “Hostel: Part II” does set itself apart of the rest of its own spawn by essentially becoming a silly self-acknowledging movie that knows what it is and what it’s there to be. In other words, it proudly panders. But then again, while upping the ante, the film is also explicitly derivative of itself that it becomes tedious by kitschy repetition.

It should be said that the reason why Eli Roth has a built-in marketability is that there is an existing audience that thrives on fanboy recidivism and fuzzy homage to celluloid gone by, and that his films never lets itself devolve into joyless depravity. Not exactly a brave new world for the encompassing genre, just a complacent springboard for more of the same. “Hostel”, though not as frightful as intended, was by and large, subtextually loaded with cynicism and satire of anti-Americanism. Roth follows the same order while routinely switching the meatbags that masquerade as lead actresses.

It’s hard to classify it as misogynistic when it takes a sequel to start cutting open sorority sisters instead of the horny frat boy sex tourists of the first film. And in all fairness, Roth does try to address violence against women as a staple of cultural degradation (through exposition and through its de facto presence) and evens out the gore to both genders. To thankfully break up the monotony of obligatory slaying, Roth offers up a fractionally deeper but no less rudimentary look at the process of the buying and selling human commodities through the eyes of Todd and Stuart (“Desperate Housewives” alums, Richard Burgi and Roger Bart), a wealthy businessman and his buddy looking to get some thrills abroad, a natural escalation from sex tourism it seems, for boring white men with a strong currency on their side. From anti-American skewering (!) to the consolidating power of capitalism in his economy of executions, Roth does endeavour to have a point no matter how hard-pressed he is to make it credible with his priorities obviously on tongue-in-cheek, ultimately tepid bloodletting.

Movie Rating:

(Neutered, lacking a killer instinct that makes it tedious and not all that unsettling)

Review by Justin Deimen

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