Reviewed by: Kotleta


For teenage boys, this is quite possibly the best film in the whole wide world EVAH! For anyone who is less excited by the sight of women taking their bras off and half-heartedly pretending to be irresistibly drawn to ugly tourists, the first 45 minutes of Hostel are better spent writing indignant letters to Hollywood. Or even just picking your nose.

I am bored of seeing naked women on cinema screens. I am bored of bad sex scenes. Surely a backlash is long overdue? It's time for a revolution! Bring on the new prudishness. And slap Eli Roth.

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If you can stay on board until the midway point, this does get better. Three blokes in the bland American frat boy mould (although one is Icelandic and also too old) are annoying the natives in Amsterdam with their search for cheap drugs and free sex. Or the reverse. This leads them down a UV-lit corridor in a brothel, where every door opens onto a scene of easily imaginable depravity.

A creepy squint-eyed Russian helpfully directs them to frat boy Utopia - a youth hostel near Bratislava (capital of the Slovak Republic, cheaper and less fun than Prague but the bellinis are divine, darling) where the girls look like supermodels and go wild for anyone with both an American accent and a penis. Already this is five years out of date as an idea. That aside, gangs of feral brats rule the surrounding cobbled streets and true to the rules of teen horror, sex outside of marriage is punishable by death. Hostel may sound shallow, but there is a serious political subtext here which is only apparent between bursts of laughter.

The terrible truth about the hostel, (which will haunt your nightmares for years to come!) lies down a dimly-lit corridor in a warehouse, where every door opens onto a scene of easily imaginable depravity. But this time there is more screaming.

At least this film does not pretend to be anything other than it is - a cheaply made softcore slasher. In the running from scary monsters segment of the narrative, it's well-paced and tightly plotted, which almost compensates for the tedious, offensive and badly written set-up. About 50 per cent of the scares are genuinely shocking and the rest add to the comic relief. It's The Beach with more sex and violence. Those of a sensitive nature should stay at home.

Reviewed on: 01 Mar 2006
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Teen backpackers get more than they bargain for in sex-fuelled horror.
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Read more Hostel reviews:

The Exile ***1/2
Chris ***
Anton Bitel **1/2

Director: Eli Roth

Writer: Eli Roth

Starring: Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson, Eythor Gudjonsson, Barbara Nedeljakova, Jan Vlasák, Jana Kaderabkova, Jennifer Lim

Year: 2005

Runtime: 95 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: USA


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If you like this, try:

The Hills Have Eyes
Hostel: Part II