Hostel 2 review by The Grim Ringler

<>Right out of the gate, can we get over something? This whole ‘torture porn’ thing has got to go. If you must, call it ‘extreme horror’, or even ‘torture horror’ if that’s what you need, but really, torture porn? Are you kidding me? First of all, there actually is torture porn, it’s a fetish, and really, this movie and its ilk are not it. You don’t have to like dark movies like this, and believe me, I can get on that bus with you, but you can’t damn films with a title like that without even understanding what you are saying. Just as it’s silly to imagine that there is a legion of people, probably guys, who sit around and watch stuff like this all day and night for kicks. Sure, there are those that watch dark, grim, nasty as hell movies for kicks but that’s a very low number of people. Believe me. So, if we can dispense with the name calling, we’ll get to the review.

Hostel 2 is sort of the same, but different. Same ideas, better direction and a better pacing, but whether or not it’s better than the first film, well…

Three young women, all art students, take a holiday away from their classes in Italy to see the countryside. After some very sketchy characters on their train harass them, the girls hook up with another woman who had been modeling for them at the school and they decide to follow her to Slovakia to visit the spas there. What the women don’t realize is that their new friend is working with an in international group that sells the rights to people for them to be maimed, brutalized, and murdered. These three women are little more than cattle to this organization, and it is a fact they will come to know all too soon. While we are learning about these three women, and their fates, we also learn about two men, two bidders, who have purchased the rights to two of the women and who have their own journey to make before they can become cold blooded killers. It is only when these men and women finally meet though that the true nature of who everyone is comes out, and we finally see who it is that has it in them to kill or be killed.

An evolution from the first film, you can definitely see that director Eli Roth has become a better director. A tighter movie, this one differs from the first in that it gives you more insight into the world of the killers and how people are bought and sold for slaughter. This, like the first film, has a definite message and it’s not one a lot of people will want to hear. The film portrays, like the first, the nature of people, especially Americans, to believe they truly can buy anything. It’s this sick desire to own, to have, and to take that creates the evil in the film. This is a world where money is all that matters, and humans are simply another commodity.

Wow, there are scenes that really bothered me, which is what Roth wanted. Completely. This is not meant to be a fun movie. It’s a nasty, nasty movie. Ah, but in that, there is a problem, which I will get to in the next paragraph. The women are very good characters and you do come to care about them. You are not invested in them, but you do care what happens to them. The same can also be said of the two ‘hunters’ as well, who, though villains, do have depth to them. And the direction, wow. This is a damn well directed film. Roth allows there to be moments of stillness, allows the music to play out a scene, and, at least in this ‘R’ rated cut, allows there to be deaths that we don’t see, nor do we need to. The results tell the story well enough. The biggest achievement here though is that he manages to end it in a way that is true to the story. Sure, we’d like a different ending perhaps, but this is a true ending.

As good as the film is, the tone is still problematic. This is such a bleak film that the moments of over the top comedy really don’t come off well at all. It feels forced and really, shows that he still has a lot to learn. I like the humor, but not in these films. There are ways to have natural tension relievers, but he doesn’t really manage it. And really, this isn’t much of a different story than the first film. It’s good, and it shows a lot we don’t see in the first, but in many ways, this is just the first film with women. He didn’t really evolve it as much as push it forward.

I liked Hostel 2 quite a bit. It’s not great, but it’s a very good film. Sadly, it isn’t scary as much as full of dread, and, like I say, there is one death that really tore me up. This will make a much better video rental/buy than a theater experience and hopefully, Roth will continue to grow as a writer and director.


7 out of 10 Jackasses

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