I haven’t reviewed a film for a long time and I jumped at the chance when I found out no-one else would review Hostel: Part II. My eagerness to get back into the reviewing game slowly dwindled about ten minutes into this sorry excuse for a movie. Oh, how I wish I just stayed in bed.

If you have seen Hostel, then by all accounts you have seen Hostel: Part II, but there is a very subtle difference this time. Wait for it: instead of three guys travelling around Eastern Europe it's three girls (shock and awe). But before my sarcasm runs riot on this review I will give you a synopsis of the story.

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The story starts with tying up the Paxton (Jay Hernandez) thread left over from the first movie, which did leave me disappointed in some respects because I would have liked to have seen this character develop further (but character development is not an Eli Roth trademark). Once that plot point is out of the way, we are briefly introduced to a few of the film's seedier characters, some of the masterminds behind the brutal Hostel. Once that is over we are given the pleasure of meeting the three new protagonists.

The three girls' personalities are as follows: Beth (Lauren German) is the responsible one, who is also rich (remember the rich part) but down to earth. Whitney (Bijou Phillips) is the trouble maker/tramp of the group, whose ballsy no-nonsense attitude will get the other gals into a spot of bother. Last but not least we have Lorna (Heather Matarazzo), a shy retiring bookworm who still believes in romantic love and possibly even My Little Pony.

From these descriptions I have given you, I have subsequently given the characters a third dimension, which is more than Eli Roth ever did. The director clearly forgets (and no, he is not being ironic/breaking the mould) that one of the basic rules of horror is that you have to care about the characters (at least slightly) and character development is a little bit more than telling your actresses to put on a grrr face.

Now, on to the set pieces. As you would expect from a horror film, there's a very suspenseful chase sequence followed by our protagonist getting cornered and put into a situation where she has no chance of escape, but with this film you get absolutely no tension whatsoever, due to the poorly written characters and weak shock tactics. You can tell from the start who will survive and who is for the chop, which in all honesty has become a bit of a sore point of mine in this genre of late.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of the horror genre, but it just frustrates me that films like this get made and directors like Eli Roth are heralded as the new gods of horror. His logic is incredibly juvenile as it is basically nudity + gore = horror. His alleged shock tactics are neither shocking nor daring and for a man who relies on this ability he fails to deliver on every level.

If you are a fan of Eli Roth’s work then you will think this is a work of art, but in my own personal opinion I wouldn’t recommend this to even the most faithful of horror fans.

Reviewed on: 28 Jun 2007
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A bunch of annoying American students get tricked by stereotypical Eastern Europeans.
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Keith Hennessey Brown **1/2

Director: Eli Roth

Writer: Eli Roth

Starring: Lauren German, Heather Matarazzo, Bijou Phillips, Richard Burgi, Vera Jordanova, Roger Bart, Jay Hernandez, Jordan Ladd

Year: 2007

Runtime: 93 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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