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Hostel: Part II
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Hostel: Part II (2007)

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Plot Summary:
"While studying art in Rome for the summer, three young American women (German, Matarazzo, Phillips) are lured away to a Slovakian hostel by a model from their class. Soon they will experience the grim reality their weekend getaway has in store."

Review by
Ryan McDonald
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Review Date: 14 April 2014 My Rating: out of 5


Lauren German, Heather Matarazzo, and Bijou Phillips are three American girls travelling around Europe, who make friends with the absolute worst person possible. Gorgeous model Vera Jordanova suggests they come to Slovakia with her to go to a supposedly amazing spa. Yeah, that sounds like fun. Not. Even Jordanova’s hotness isn’t enough to convince me. Nonetheless since these three girls are idiots of the highest order, they agree, and you guessed it, sign in to the hostel from hell. The hostel of course is in league with Elite Hunting, a haven for wealthy and soulless clients to carry out all kinds of sick torture on youngsters kidnapped from the hostel. Our three protagonists are to be preyed upon by the likes of gung-ho businessman Richard Burgi and his meek and more hesitant cohort Roger Bart. Exploitation notaries Ruggero Deodato (director of the infamous “Cannibal Holocaust”) and actress Edwige Fenech turn up as a cannibal (!) and art professor, respectively.

The first “Hostel” had a miniscule amount of promise but ultimately wasn’t any good, and certainly wasn’t interesting. I then skipped ahead to the third film, which was a bit better, mostly because it wasn’t set in some Eastern European hell hole. Now I’ve finally seen this 2007 first sequel from writer/director Eli Roth, and not only does it make me like “Hostel Part III” a bit less (it’s essentially the same film, but “III” had a more fun location), but this really is just a remake of the first film, only a bit better looking and with oestrogen.

The switch from male protagonists in the first film to female protagonists here is somewhat disappointing. Not only does the film wimp out on the lesbian content heavily implied by the most lying arse trailer of all time, but we also have Heather Matarazzo and Bijou Phillips playing the exact same characters they play in every single one of their films. Sure, you could argue that we’re at least getting three distinct characters on screen, but two of them are acts we’ve seen before, and in the case of Matarazzo, it’s taken to new levels of irritation here. It’s really gotta suck for Matarazzo that she only ever plays whiny ugly ducklings. Here she even gets spat on. Poor girl’s psyche must be a mess by now, but she’s absolutely awful here as basically the female version of that Shelley character from one of the “Friday the 13th” films (The annoying fat loser no one else in the film could stand). Even if she was aiming to be funny in this (I doubt it), it’s still a bad performance playing a seriously demeaning role. The connection to Elizabeth Bathory in one scene is cool, and Matarazzo has nice jugs (not that you can enjoy them in this literally bloody context), but it’s foul how she is treated in this film. Even a bad actress like her deserves better.

I like that the film opens with a logical extension of the first film by showing original survivor Jay Hernandez going through bouts of inner turmoil and paranoia. I also thought Roger Bart was quite good in his role, easily the highlight of the film, for whatever it’s worth. The low-light of the film is the ending, which is stupid for a whole variety of reasons not worth getting into. None of the three films are worth watching. They’re all basically the same, but with the third one being slightly better, and this one having slightly better cinematography and pacing than the other two. But it’s much of a muchness, at the end of the day.

Roth has a potentially interesting idea that he just hasn’t been able to turn into a movie worth watching. Perhaps he should find a different idea.

Reviewer: Phil Davies Brown @horrorasylum
Location:Scotland, UK
Review Date: 07 August 2007 My Rating: out of 5

The demented genius of Eli Roth is back on the big screen this weekend but sadly, Hostel: Part II isn’t as scary or as gory as the original.

This rather choppy sequel follows events after Paxton’s escape in the first film before following the literal journey of three young girls Beth, Whitney and Lorna who are all studying art in Rome and decide to head to Prague for the weekend. After a run in with some randy Italians on their train, the girls are persuaded by new acquaintance Axelle to switch trains to accompany her to lush Hot Springs in Slovakia. At the same time as the girls arrive, American businessmen Stuart and Todd win a bidding frenzy and head to Slovakia intent on killing the girls.

The film starts out well (but leaves Jordan Ladd at a bit of a loose end) and the three female leads are all appealing, so the first hour of the film is enjoyable. The final half hour feels rushed however, and the conclusion is ultimately weak.

Heather Mattarazzo is awesome as Lorna, managing to be sweet, kind, innocent and fun all at the same time as well as incredibly vulnerable, which is ultimately her own downfall and you cannot help but feel sad for her in her big moment. Bijou Phillips is fun as always but is cheated out of a great death. Lauren German is excellent as rich girl Beth and the finale does wonders for her career.

The supporting cast all do well but some of them were a little over the top in places (Richard Burgi), although it seemed as though Roth was asking them to be deliberately hammy to fit in with his warped idea of humour.

Despite their best efforts however, the film amiably fights a losing battle, as we now know how things work at the Hostel (more or less) and therefore we are not surprised or even that suspicious of anyone the girls come into contact with, as we know that a lot of people are after them. One thing that did work well however, was the inclusion of Stanislav Ianevski as Miroslav to counter this argument. The subplot involving Todd and Stuart is a clever idea but watching their journey doesn’t make up for the lacking mystery and suspense present in the first film.

In the end, the only thing which really paid off here was THAT ending. Roth promised us an ending like no other this summer, and he certainly delivers on that front.

Hostel: Part II is a glossy, well made, enjoyable film but I personally didn’t enjoy it as much as the original.

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