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Overall Rating
2.92

Awesome: 22.1%
Worth A Look: 25.97%
Average: 6.08%
Pretty Bad: 13.26%
Total Crap32.6%

9 reviews, 127 user ratings


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Hostel
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by Hawkboy

"This movie was Harry Knowles' idea. Need we say more?"
1 stars

Apparently, Eli Roth got the idea for "Hostel" when Harry Knowles told him about a website where you could sign up to go overseas and kill someone for 10,000 dollars. Basing movies on websites you've visited is a great idea; Perhaps "Mr T Ate My Balls: The Movie" will be Harry's next bright idea. Or maybe he will focus on other urban legends instead - can we see a movie based on the ghost in the background of "Three Men And A Baby"?

Eli Roth makes movies for 16 year-olds who use words like "sick" and "awesome" and have the two words mean the same thing. In my careless youth spent working in a video store, I would observe them renting old Friday the 13th movies or the latest Halloween sequel, and they would base their high ratings of said films on how "sick" the death scenes were, ignoring things like plot, acting, or anything closely resembling filmmaking skills. I can't be sure, but I think one of those kids grew up to be Eli Roth. I also think he still has late charges due on "The Driller Killer".

Eli is a fan of horror films, and of Japanese films like "Audition" and "Ichi The Killer". He even went so far as to give the director of those two films a cameo in this movie. That's great. I'm glad he's a fan of those films. I am too. But that doesn't mean he can, or should be making one of his own. I'm a fan of the Boston Red Sox; that doesn't mean I should be batting leadoff for them. His previous work, "Cabin Fever" was greeted with praise by some and scorn by just as many. Those who praised it enjoyed it for being a return to the vintage 80's horror movies where some stupid teenagers go into the woods and die one by one; the naysayers weren't sure if we should be celebrating the return of a genre that most people were pretty happy to get rid of in the first place.

In this bit of cinematic excellence, Eli makes the mistake of thinking that we will be upset about American tourists getting killed. Just kidding! (I'm pretty sure this film will play as a comedy in France). But I'm not sure if Mr. Roth expected us to care too much about characters that spend the first 45 minutes of the film showing how unlikeable they are. Loud, obnoxious, homophobic, xenophobic teenagers backpacking through Europe and their zany Icelandic friend find Amsterdam to be overly full of people like themselves, so they seek out a small town in Slovakia rumored to have the finest women who go crazy for Americans. They hoof their way down there, meet up with a couple of Eastern European hotties, and all is well until the zany Icelandic guy disappears.

I don't think it's a spoiler to say that our three lovable rogues eventually find themselves getting captured and tortured. It may, however, be a spoiler to say that the torture (which is the main selling point of the movie's advertising) is after 45 minutes of naked breasts and bad acting, both of which are provided by the director's girlfriend. As I said, I'm sure the 16 year-olds who sneak into the theatre will love it. The crowd I was in, however, were growing impatient. One lady even speculated they were in the wrong theatre, complaining that the only people being tortured were any females unlucky enough to have been dragged here by their boyfriends. Don't worry, lady! The violence is coming, and it's a whopper! Goriest movie ever, I heard! Oooh-weee, get ready for some snuff film goodness!

But not really. The gore wouldn't really be out of place on an episode of "Nip/Tuck". In fact, I watched "Nip/Tuck" after seeing this movie, and it made me feel far more squeamish than "Hostel" did. There's no suspense or method to the violence; a character is cuffed to a chair,you see the torturer coming towards one of our heroes with an instrument of torture, and tortures the character. Repeat till dead, or until dramatic escape. Meanwhile, the orchestral score makes this all sound very terrifying. For a movie that clearly has no other reason for existence other than to show the world some seriously messed-up action, there really isn't anything THAT bad. According to rumors (rumors provided by the dude I saw the movie with), the Japanese version is way more 'f--cked up" and shows a lot more blood and sinew and vomit; I'm sure there's an unrated DVD just waiting to be unleashed.

This movie's kind of pointless. It takes too long to get to the advertised action, there's no real sense of dread to keep us occupied along the way (come on, that would get in the way of the boobies!) , and when we finally get to what we had been promised was the sickest, nastiest stuff you've ever seen, it doesn't even measure up to the gore and creativity of "Saw II", a movie which I didn't care for, but could at least admire for its ingenuity.

Torture in a movie is at its most effective when you care about the person who's enduring it. Movies like "Marathon Man" and "Audition" let us get to know the characters, and bothered to give a damn about developing those characters more than, "I'm a law student, and you're a writer! Let's smoke some dope!"

Enthusiasm about your subject matter can only take you so far, and I think Eli Roth needs to work on developing a project that can appeal to a segment of the populace who aren't members of the newsgroup dedicated to keeping the memory of "CHUD 2: Bud the CHUD" alive.

I didn't mention Quentin Tarantino, whose name is the first thing you see on the screen, and who has been a huge supporter of the film. Cinematic genius aside, QT is still the guy who tried to get us to watch "Switchblade Sisters".

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=12912&reviewer=27
originally posted: 01/08/06 18:03:13
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Toronto Film Festival For more in the 2005 Toronto Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

2/21/17 morris campbell the only good torture porn movie 4 stars
11/28/10 daniel vermillion Wow! Breathtaking thrills! Chilling suspense! And that dialogue: "I won't tell anybody, let 3 stars
3/09/10 PAUL SHORTT UNPLEASANT AND PAINFUL TO WATCH 1 stars
2/21/10 Josie Cotton is a goddess Much better than I thought it would be 4 stars
1/18/09 action movie fan an actually engrossing torture porn flick with a good stoyr and suspense 4 stars
1/15/09 FrankNFurter Deeply unpleasant, misanthropic excrement on cellulloid.Absolutely horrid! 1 stars
11/24/08 action fucking sick dude 1 stars
10/28/08 Sugarfoot Too repetitive and predictable to be scary, though the gore factor is there. 2 stars
9/10/08 Borat Eli Roth talked up this movie way to much.it didnt deserve the hype. 3 stars
7/24/08 Shaun Wallner Bloody Awesome!!! 5 stars
3/01/08 Ivana Mann Promising, creepy set-up turns into overly gory house-of-horrors shit. Roth goes too far! 2 stars
2/11/08 Mark Great Horror movie, this is the new benchmark 5 stars
10/28/07 Jest Eli Roth and Uwe Boll need to kill themselves to save cinema 1 stars
10/04/07 Flesh-GTA I noticed all the bad coments are antigore. Yeah Gore!!PS I Love this Film, Keep it up Eli! 5 stars
9/26/07 dude unwatchable 1 stars
7/19/07 Alice The Scary movies, american pie lovers, will prob love this also, so: A NO BRAINER 1 stars
5/06/07 Dan Lipian A surprisingly intelligent, albeit excessively gory, take on seeking pleasures of the flesh 5 stars
4/18/07 Sally SUCKED! 1 stars
4/02/07 Dark Enchantress i have shit better things out of my ass 1 stars
3/31/07 fools♫gold Pointless nudity and Hitchcock-style could-be-true horror story that everyone hates?! 3 stars
2/08/07 Raph Branca Sexy, scary, bloody. Everything a horror film should be. 5 stars
2/02/07 Shobert Piss poor filmmaking, nonexistant script, laughable acting, stupid movie for idiots. 1 stars
1/18/07 del ME LIKEY GORE AND HAVE NO BRAIN!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
12/21/06 David Pollastrini brilliant, great gore 5 stars
12/03/06 seonaid Hideously brilliant. Good, senseless gore, but, surprisingly, with a fairly original plot. 5 stars
11/14/06 millersxing Miike fan disappointed both by that brief cameo and by dull storytelling. 2 stars
11/10/06 American Slasher Goddess Decent enough and much better then the horribly goofy Cabin Fever. 3 stars
11/02/06 Roy R. Pryor Those who vilify me for watchin "too gross" AMERICAN PIE should be forced to watch THIS! 1 stars
11/02/06 bobby Made me feel dirty just watching it. Set back Eatern European tourism 10 years! 4 stars
10/31/06 pete.chesworth very creepy film with a sense of dread pervading the screen 4 stars
10/29/06 Tara this movie was quite pointless, and the effects looked pretty fake 2 stars
10/29/06 Pritchett Not scary, not stylish, pointless gore. Total yawn-inducing garbage. 1 stars
10/22/06 Dillon Uneven and a little dull, but it might work for you if you like this kind of thing. 3 stars
10/19/06 David Pollastrini good gore. 5 stars
10/18/06 AJ Muller Eli Roth is here to stay, and we horror freaks should be MIGHTY thankful 5 stars
9/22/06 Pimp It kicked heaps of arse best thing I've seen tits and violence what a great combo 5 stars
9/11/06 truth eli roth redeems himself after the horrible cabin fever 4 stars
8/28/06 anthonyuk lacked any tension, overhyped garbage, almost laughable, lets hope eli roth retires soon! 1 stars
8/23/06 chris f best horror movie ive seen!!! 5 stars
8/19/06 Beau Good, woodnt see it twice. the producer/director 'quentin' is full of sick plots, worth 2 c 4 stars
8/18/06 Vince Good idea nicely executed 4 stars
8/17/06 Senoa It's bloody, it's gory. It's well done, but watch it twice and you need help. 4 stars
8/14/06 Me I love this movie it does not suck and jay hernandez is SEXY!! 5 stars
8/05/06 Sumixam great idea poorly executed (pardon the pun) 3 stars
7/22/06 Agent Sands Really quite a good movie, just poorly misadvertised. 4 stars
7/19/06 Steve Has to be the darkest horror film I've seen. Extremely hardcore horror! It was great! 5 stars
7/15/06 Anthony G Worth seeing one time just to say you've seen it, after that you should hang yourself. 1 stars
6/23/06 TempLoop Better than I thought it would be 4 stars
6/15/06 Indrid Cold Like Cabin Fever, it's relatively good for its genre. Worth seeing once. 3 stars
6/13/06 Tasia I liked this movie, but I think it was way too hyped up. I don't think it's worth owning 3 stars
6/04/06 William Goss Extremely entertaining exploitation. However, post-screening shower sold separately. 4 stars
5/25/06 Jon How can you guys say this was ok!?!?? You people are sick. WORST. MOVIE. EVER. 1 stars
5/20/06 JeromeBosch Christine, what did you dislike? 4 stars
5/20/06 Christine Wilbik It wasn't worth watching. One of the worst movies ever made. 1 stars
5/15/06 Monday Morning Very tasteful, compared to Kill Bill. 1 stars
5/11/06 Jerome Bosch see it for the babes! 4 stars
5/11/06 Agent Sands Misadvertised. It's actually a good movie. 4 stars
5/05/06 Vince Pretty good gore-fest actually 4 stars
5/04/06 ES The 'I'm American I have to get vengence on all who have wronged me" ending killed the film 1 stars
5/01/06 Leslie My interest to see it /"based on true events" is it possible? No trip to Europe for me! 3 stars
4/27/06 Sheldon This is a sign that good horror movies are endangered 1 stars
4/27/06 Bill This movie was horrible and it sucked! 1 stars
4/24/06 Annie From all the hype, I expected more, big letdown... 3 stars
4/23/06 Mick I enjoyed the last 30 minutes of the film the best. 5 stars
4/23/06 Josh Standlee Fuck you, Mike D! This movie kicked hella ass!! 5 stars
4/23/06 Danny I do believe this is the most repulsive movie ever. Total waste of time. 1 stars
4/21/06 Nicko What the fuck are you talking about Laffy 5 stars
4/20/06 Laffy Taffy Disgusting and it sucked 1 stars
4/20/06 tatum Terrible letdown from Cabin Fever, lifeless and a bore 1 stars
4/18/06 Kevin experience This movie was total crap, plotless pointless and pathetic 1 stars
4/18/06 does what it is supposed to do b-movie horror at it's finest. at least better than DEVIL'S REJECTS 5 stars
4/10/06 Rub Molesto Why isn't there a "no star" rating? I wouldn't but this movie to scrape the shit off my ass 1 stars
4/04/06 Mike D Total shit...only losers like this crap. 1 stars
3/15/06 sandra lopez hey! well i saw the movie hostel and it's verry good i liked it. jay i love you. 5 stars
3/13/06 chris f very sick and gory i enjoyed it 5 stars
3/12/06 Frenzy Dumb movie 2 stars
3/12/06 Reklc If this is what americans think about Europe we're lucky not to be ocupied. Sucks!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
3/11/06 Dillon Slow in the beginning, but once it gets going it doesn't stop 3 stars
3/09/06 Marcia Lartz OMG, EricDSnider! Where's fart humor when we need it Svetlana&Natalia, please blast one! 1 stars
3/08/06 Jane Austen's Enema WRONG TURN made me sure to visit West Virginia. Too bad Slovakia's so far away! 2 stars
3/08/06 Allison Lafferty Does such shit really happen in Bratislava? Ugh! Almost coulda made me a Lesbian (LMAO). 2 stars
3/03/06 Bleak Brilliant!!! anyone who hated this doesnt have a clue 5 stars
3/02/06 ronald total rubbish.Fuck you roth 1 stars
2/26/06 Dannothemoviemanno Liked Cabin Fever.. bored with this. 2 stars
2/17/06 BoondockTwat This was such a stupid movie...if you liked it, you're stupid, too. Eli Roth stupid. 1 stars
1/31/06 Agent Sands What the fuck?! This was really really really good! 5 stars
1/30/06 Amy I have never puked after a movie, but this movie made me!!! 2 stars
1/21/06 Flyboy A total piece of shit with absolutely no style and a nonexistant script. A complete waste. 1 stars
1/21/06 SoHo Defend it as you may wish, in the end you're defending a pile of turds in drag. 1 stars
1/20/06 ChappyX Not for people who like story structure, characters, or any resembling an actual script. 1 stars
1/19/06 kat Dropped to #5 in second week...ha! People DO have taste! Wow! 1 stars
1/18/06 ShadowFace5 I enjoyed the movie. Good concept. 4 stars
1/18/06 Jon Gory, but not scary. 4 stars
1/18/06 Larry The people who liked this are the same who liked DEVIL'S REJECTS - RETARDS!!!!! 1 stars
1/17/06 KevinG "wtf is wrong with yall???" We have taste...and you do not. 1 stars
1/16/06 Jai Alai I have to say that I like it far more than I thought I would 5 stars
1/16/06 Jesus This movie ROCKED! wtf is wrong with yall??? 5 stars
1/16/06 gerald If Eli Roth is the future, we should all repent right now... 1 stars
1/15/06 Gerald Sherfy Roth should go back to film school: shades of Pulp Fiction anyone? 1 stars
1/15/06 Sam Justus Eli Roth is definitely the future of horror! 5 stars
1/15/06 Larrold Not scary, not really that gory, no suspense, no style...totally pointless and BAD. 1 stars
1/14/06 Jennifer this was one of the best horror movies I have seen in a long time 4 stars
1/14/06 Gummo Like a 12-year-old retard attempting to be profound...pathetic. 1 stars
1/13/06 Perry Mason About as scary and disturbing as getting a tooth pulled. 1 stars
1/13/06 Mumba If I heard the word "Dude" one more time! What a S-T-U-P-I-D movie!! 1 stars
1/12/06 TriggerHappy A complete waste of time...I'd say talent, too, but Eli Roth doesn't have any. 1 stars
1/11/06 Simon Some of the violence was disturbing enough, so it does its job there. but oh so pointless! 2 stars
1/11/06 Blobby One of the DUMBEST, worst pieces of SHIT I've ever seen in a theater!!! 1 stars
1/10/06 kmdewitt Doesnt EVEN compare to Saw. Hostel is a bloody, limb-cutting porn. 2 stars
1/10/06 Nekro Badly written and directed. Zero suspense and overrated gore. Pass. 1 stars
1/09/06 lapis A big load of horse manure posing as some kind of bad movie. 1 stars
1/09/06 Flounder One of the most entertaining horror flicks to come down the pike in quite some time. 5 stars
1/09/06 lee Not enough blood, but still entertaining. 4 stars
1/09/06 Kali Gore - big whoop...total crap (and boring) storyline, acting, script, plot, characters. 1 stars
1/09/06 wrob Disturbing and completely plausable. Well done. 5 stars
1/09/06 Agent Sands OK, so it wasn't as shocking as everyone thought it would be, but it's still great. 4 stars
1/09/06 lumpy This movie was dung...and the gore wasn't even that great! Fuck this crap... 1 stars
1/08/06 me pseudo snuff films suck 1 stars
1/08/06 y2mckay Fuck SAW and dumbass PG-13 horror. Plenty of titties, gore, suspense, and humor. 4 stars
1/08/06 Bitchum Very badly-written and badly-made...the gore doesn't save it. 1 stars
1/08/06 aimless Eurotrip meets Toolbox Murders but it could use Michelle Tractenberg 2 stars
1/07/06 SlappytheFrog 'Sorry, Mr. Roth, but you're just no Takashi Miike... 1 stars
1/07/06 rory bore fest 1 stars
12/16/05 Groth Piss poor attempt at grindhouse Miike 1 stars
9/22/05 marajade29sm Finally, a horror film that truly doesn't back down from its subject matter! 5 stars
9/18/05 pierre bonhomme Just saw it at Toronto Fest - 2 Thumbs Up!! The best horror ride In years! 5 stars
9/18/05 L. Anderson Only for those who LOVE gore... 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  06-Jan-2006 (R)
  DVD: 18-Apr-2006

UK
  21-Apr-2006

Australia
  23-Feb-2006




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