Massawyrm Dares To Talk About The Film AICN Refuses To Cover - Eli Roth's HOSTEL PART II !!
Published at: June 5, 2007, 7:15 a.m. CST by merrick
Hola all. Massawyrm here.
Yeah, yeah. I know. This week we sure do read a lot like our URL is actually AintEliRothCoolNews.com, but what are you gonna do? There's a bunch of us that dig his films. We love the material he plays around with and the intelligence he brings to the genre. He's a good guy and he's one of us. So what do you say I spare you yet another "I first met Eli when…" stories and get right to the goods.
I'm gonna say this now. If you hate Eli, if the phrase "torture porn" has ever proudly escaped your lips, or most importantly if you hate Hostel – Hostel Part II is not going to change your mind. It is, for all intents and purposes, much the same as Hostel. Young Americans get kidnapped, young Americans get killed in new and different ways. While there are enough flourishes to set it apart, I honestly do not believe it is different enough to change any minds out there. In fact, you might even hate Eli even more for a few of the choices he makes here.
Now, that said, if for some reason you liked, or like me, dug the ever loving shit out of Hostel, well, then this is gonna do one hell of a job gouging your eye out then skullfucking the socket. This movie kicks some ass. And it, more than any other film, shows us the potential Eli has. He absolutely did not phone this one in.
The film starts off kind of slow tension wise. Not that nothing is happening, but for those really familiar with the original, it becomes an exercise in wondering just how much alike this and the first are going to be. We're introduced to three American girls and then watch them run across many of the same people who fucked over our protagonists in the first film. You watch as these women fall into a trap you see coming a mile away. But that's when Eli weaves in what sets this film apart – the storyline of the killers who have paid to kill these girls. And from that point on, it's a solid, very enjoyable new film.
Until the final act. That's when you realize that, unlike most films that begin with a good or great idea and try to end that story well, Eli had an amazing third act in mind and set out to make two acts that could get him there. The last ten minutes are so off the fucking hook that it's ridiculous. There is a scene that elicited such a visceral, physical reaction out of me – jumping, then writhing in my seat banging the armrest – that I dare not speak of it. It's just fucked up. Probably the most deliciously fucked up thing to grace the screens all summer – if not all year. Eli got me. He got me good. And he ultimately made a film that gets better and better as the film progresses – then gives one hell of a climax finale. It is everything he did right with Hostel, amped up and perfected.
But I hesitate to truly call this a better film than the first, as many other have. I think both films do excellent jobs of exploring somewhat different themes. And the initial shock of the concept in the first film never is developed any further here – not that it actually could be. But by implying that this one is better, people who didn't like the first might be convinced that this is in some way different. And really, it isn't. Horror fans are gonna find enough different to enjoy this for the roads it travels down – but really, it's not different enough to convince an audience that is unwilling to accept it.
The only people who are going to really be disappointed here are those who loved the original for its brazen sexual content and nudity – of which this film is sorely lacking. There're a few scenes of nudity, but never highly sexualized or at all titillating. But that never seems out of place here as the film revolves around women looking for some relaxation rather than hornball teenage boys on a quest to teabag some eastern block punnany. Anyone who disliked the original for how sexual it was will find this much more relaxed – but those hoping for more bouncing unbound breasts will find this not quite the Eli Roth they were looking for.
When reviewing the first, I joked that you could almost smell Eli while watching it. It was rife with his humor, his love of women, gore, his love of women's body parts, his love of women's body parts covered in gore. The "Fratboy" Eli Roth was all over that film. But this film feels different tonally. It feels a hell of a lot more mature. Eli's heard the criticism and has set out to make some very serious horror fare. Not to say that this isn't fun. Just that it's going to be a lot harder to assail about the weaknesses that many have accused Eli of having. So if you were somehow on the fence, I'm gonna say this one will probably bring you on over. Otherwise, you already probably know how you're going to feel about this.
Highly Recommended for anyone that enjoyed Hostel. Not recommended for those that didn't. It really doesn't get much plainer than that.
Until next time friends, smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em.