Year: 2005 & 2007
Directed By: Eli Roth
Written By: Eli Roth
When Hostel came out in 2005 I absolutely refused to watch it. To start with I felt it was only riding the coattails of another successful franchise, Saw. I had heard nothing but disgusting things about the film and wasn’t interested in the new “torture-porn” fad that had developed in horror films. I’ll admit I was taken in to an extent by the Saw franchise. I like those movies but not because of the torture but because I felt the story was clever and interesting. This film seemed to be nothing but torture, and the things I had heard were enough to turn my stomach without even seeing the film for myself. I am not a squeamish movie watcher, but as with all things there has to be a point to it and if something seems to be just overkill violence I’m not interested.
After the second film had come out I found myself at a friend’s house one day and had no choice but to sit there through the film. I was shocked to find myself so interested in the movie. I thought the obsession with death and the lengths people went to be part of it were very interesting. It was then that I went backwards and watched the original. We are reviewing these two movies together because I do not think either is a complete film but together they tell two sides of an interesting story. The duality in these two films fascinates me in that the first film is about the victims while the second focuses more on the villains.
By and large these two movies are stupid. The first one specifically is a bit much around every corner. These two typical guys going around Europe acting like idiots doesn’t do much to draw you into the film, but everybody sticks with it because they know what is coming. Nobody sits down to watch this movie not knowing what is to come and we sat down to see something vicious. In the long run this movie does not disappoint in that aspect. It is without doubt very vicious and will leave you with images you won’t soon forget. Just hearing about the things that were done in this movie made me feel sick, seeing them was something that I couldn’t quite shake. I do like the mysterious quality of this first film though because for the majority of the film you have no idea why these things are happening. The story is only vaguely told as well with the viewer having to figure out what is actually going on. It was easy for me because I went backwards in the movies and knew plenty about the organization that was capturing the victims, but I could see how plenty of people might have been lost in the first one by the end. There are plenty of stupid people out there and these are the types of movies that attract stupid people. I’m sure several had no idea what was going on when the main character is having a conversation later with one of the killers.
Years ago when I begrudgingly sat down with my friend to watch Hostel 2 I was amazed at how interested I was in the movie. The bidding war over the victims between people all over the world caught my attention. It’s a fascinating idea and I can only hope that it is purely fiction. After that it was the obsession with killing by seemingly normal people that got my attention. Killing is wrong and it involves crossing a line that the majority of us will never come close to but there is a killer instinct inside of all of us. Given the opportunity I think we would all be surprised with what we were capable of. I found the two killers to be so interesting. How the one that is gung-ho over the whole thing suddenly loses his nerve and can’t go through with what he thought he wanted. Yet his passive friend is the one who turns out to be truly psychotic and falls prey to the blood lust of torture and killing. When the victim turns the tables on him and becomes a member of the secret society I thought it was a great plot twist.
These aren’t great movies and I would hardly even go as far as to call them good. I bought them for the collection because they surprised me and I like to remember that I can still be surprised by this medium of entertainment. This movie was given mainstream release after it impressed Quentin Tarantino and gave him a chance to slap his name on something successful. Having seen all of Tarantino’s films I can see what he liked about it. He has a sick obsession with violence and gore, this movie was right up his alley. The movies were both written and directed by Eli Roth who would go on to play a significant role in Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. I would never recommend either of these movies to anybody because they are awful and disgusting movies. Yet if you have a chance to watch them you might find yourself interested in it and I won’t say that either one isn’t worth your time.
I had never seen these movies before watching it for the blog. I think these are great horror films. They make you squirm and hide your eyes and wonder who (if anyone) is actually going to make it out alive. I really liked them. They are super creepy, and somewhat original in the horror genre, which I feel is a hard one to really excel in because it is done so much.
Here are just three of the posters for this film; they came out with a series of them. I really like the watercolor-like effect; it makes it look blurry and dirty. They all allude to something gruesome happening. I like the typography of Hostel. It’s pretty cliché as far as horror movie typography goes, but it’s still pretty nice.