Hitting UK shores on the 24th of March (which is coincidentally my 24th birthday) Eli Roth brings us this sick and twisted tale of three friends backpacking through Europe who find themselves in Slovakia in search of sex, drugs and disco, only to regret their decision to hang around when they find that things are not quite what they seem amongst the friendly locals.
The film takes a while to get into the thick of things but the relationship between the three guys is entertaining enough to keep you interested in the first instance.
When things start to go wrong and other characters begin to get caught up in the grisly goings on, Hostel becomes something entirely different and it is here that the sickening torture sequences we had been promised by the marketing campaign are delivered.
Basically, without giving too much away for British viewers who have yet to see the film, Hostel in my opinion whilst perhaps not as ferocious as The Hills Have Eyes, is far more graphically violent without taking it too far.
To his credit, Roth does not take the easy option of throwing buckets of blood across the screen as he carefully creates a balance of show and tell unlike any other I have seen in recent years.
Blowtorches, hammers, chainsaws, scissors, bolt clippers, knives, guns and all manner of cold and steely grotty instruments are used to maim, mutilate and inflict pain on the likeable characters, in scenes so disgusting that I really did want to throw up afterwards to feel better.
The characters who appear one dimensional at first become real people as the film progresses, despite the fact that Roth does not use heavy amounts of exposition throughout the film, instead he uses action and subtle hints to give the characters layers, and it worked for me as I came away feeling so sorry for Josh, Paxton and Kana.
The film very cleverly adds subplots as well, which all add to the proceedings such as a debate on human nature with regards to meat eating, and the lack of subtitles and location shots of grotty winding back alleyways all help to disorientate the viewer to the point that we too feel scared in a strange place along with the characters, enough so that one police officer's words of 'so far from home' sent chills down my spine.
Another aspect which I thought worked really well was that Roth manages to get under our skin to the point where we support and applaud the chances given to the characters for revenge, something which ties up the vegetarian versus meat eating debate as one of our trio is forced to become the very thing he dislikes.
Hostel really does prove that Roth is someone to watch over the next few years as his twisted yet unique sense of humour and passion for the genre have helped create a sick piece of cinema that will forever act as a reason for me to never leave my country.
Like the masters of the genre before him, Roth uses societal fears to great use and this, coupled with his skills in marketing, should ensure the film does well here like it did in the US earlier this year.
Hostel does have flaws (what film doesn't?) but overall it's a dark, dirty, disgusting, scary and sick ride that put me off my birthday cake! There's something to stick on one of their advertising posters.