Friday, September 2, 2011

Hostel II (2007)

(Review originally posted in Sept 2007)

I really had to get out of the house tonight and I couldn't think of a better way to get my mind off of everything than by taking in a nice torture flick with someone I love. After getting the early ratings on this film, noting that they were in the one-to-two star range, I had a feeling I was going to enjoy this film.

I wasn't disappointed at all, for indeed it was a blood bath. Literally.

At first it looked like it was going to follow the exact same formula as the first Hostel, which had me a little concerned since I really wasn't in the mood for 45 minutes of tits and ass. Instead we got about three minutes of that, courtesy of the nude models for an art class in Rome. That was much more up my alley than the brothels of Amsterdam. And when it came to light that the purpose for three young women going to a secluded spa in the middle of nowhere was to get away from all the horny guys, I knew things were going to get interesting pretty quickly.

In Hostel 2, we get to see exactly what I hoped we would – a bit more about the inner workings of the slaughterhouse. Impressive little operation they had going on there, right down to the humorous bid wars matching client to victim. (My joke for the evening was that one of the girls would find an internet kiosk and end up saying "Hey! What am I doing on Ebay???"). And you've just got to appreciate a good business manager who knows how to pull off a "scratch and dent" sale.

The scenes behind the locked iron doors were a bit more elaborate, playing more into the fantasy aspect of forking over your life savings for the chance to brutally murder someone. The first scenario was pretty much a goth's wet and sticky dream, although I found fault in how expertly the client wielded an ill-balanced weapon from an incredibly awkward position. But that's just me nit-picking on the details.

We also get to meet a couple of the clients, and after about thirty seconds of watching them converse you can pretty much figure out what's going to happen as far as their vacation plans are concerned. But even that is forgivable with how that predictable plot line is executed. And we do get to follow these blokes though the check-in process, which is cute.

In fact, I think I'd sum up the whole film as being cute, in a Happy Tree Friends  sort of way. It was certainly a lot better than I expected, and while I didn't consider it a "gross out" film, I can report that a good many people in the audience were squirming. It also wasn't as dark and disturbing as the original once you got to the slaughterhouse, but far more creative and fun.

Do I think most people are going to enjoy this film? Probably not. It is, after all, a torture film and it does have at least two scenes that many people would find to cross a line. It wasn't hard for me to pick those scenes out, for during one there was dead silence in the theater, and during the other there was an awful lot of uncomfortable laughter.

All and all, I think it will be finding its place on my video shelves when it comes out on DVD. I'm hoping for a director's commentary.

Film information: Hostel Part II

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