Stars: Lauren German, Heather Matarazzo, and Bijou Phillips
Sentence Summary: A pointless movie that is only concerned with being as nauseatingly gory as possible.
**Warning: Slight spoilers ahead**
Okay, so I want to start off by saying that I am not usually that easily offended by movies. In fact, some good gore and offensive lines can work wonders to tell a story.
Well, Hostel: Part II offended me.
Firstly, there’s the characters. We have the stereotypical “cool girl,” the “nerdy girl,” and the “slutty girl.” Yep, that’s pretty much all there is to say about them.
Seriously, guess who’s who.
Then, there’s the story. So the idea of people paying big bucks to join this club where they get to murder innocent people is actually a pretty cool idea (for a movie, not in real life). I read somewhere that Eli Roth actually found a real website advertising this service, and that’s what inspired him to make these movies (we can only speculate as to why he was visiting such a site). But yeah, that’s a good enough story; it’s horrifying, but also sort of fascinating. However, the execution turned into a rather un-fascinating version of this idea. It’s the type of movie where the story exists only to serve the gory details, instead of the other way around.
When I think back to this film, it was by no means the goriest movie that I’ve seen. What bothered me however, was the sexualization of the torture scenes. Maybe that sounds way too hyper-feminist to be taken seriously, but some of the scenes just had this weird, uncomfortable, overly-indulgent tone. A few examples that come to mind are the prolonged focus on a mutilated girl struggling to breath, or a woman relishing in being showered in a young girl’s blood. Maybe it’s just in my head, but I have read a few reviews that called it torture porn, so I’m not the only one who gets that vibe.
I want to call this movie sexist for the horrifying objectification, for the cardboard characterization, and for the prolonged and sexualized torture of the young female protagonists. I want to, but I have to remember that they did this all with a male cast in Hostel, which was possibly even more gory. So instead I will settle for saying that Hostel: Part II both deeply disturbed and offended me.
What the hell Bear Jew, from Cabin Fever to THIS? Next time bring on the hedonistic characters, bring on the cheesy gore, but don’t forget to include real characters, good dialogue, and the elements that actually make a movie into a real story. Plus maybe throw in some of that campy, self-aware comedy that made Cabin Fever awesome.
Verdict: Skip it. Seriously, watch a horror movie that has an actual reason for existing other than shock value.
Photos courtesy of Internet Movie Database (IMDb.com)