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June 2007


By Wilson Morales


Distributor: Lionsgate
Director: Eli Roth
Screenwriter: Eli Roth
Cast: Lauren German, Bijou Phillips, Roger Bart, Richard Bugl, Vera Jordanova, Heather Mattarazzo, Stanislav Ianevski, Milan Knazko



When horror films come out, the media doesn't really cover it so much only because the same basic formula is applied to the film as it is with other horror films. You will usually see the lead star involved in a situation where his or her friends will encounter some maniac who is on a killing spree and yes, the body count will rise to more than three and the lead star will make it out somehow alive at the end. Nothing changes, just the cast and the setting. In the old days, it worked well with the Jason, and Michael Myers, and Freddy Krugers. Then the genre started exploding with one too many of these films that no one cared anymore until "Scream" came along and re-invented the genre. A few years, Eli Roth made a name for himself with his "Cabin Fever" and shortly afterwards, with "Hostel". "Hostel" was one the rare horror films to gain a lot of exposure and be a financial success. There was a story, the setting was the paced, and then the killing began. Now, as with all films that are successful, a sequel was inevitable, and the question would rise of whether or not, Roth can outdo himself and make a better film than the first one. With Quentin Tarantino serving as one of his producers, one would think he would come up with something juicy. Not! While the premise is the still the same, only with females now instead of guys, Roth has thrown a curve ball in this rethread formula, which makes it above average. He's given us a glimpse into the mind of the diabolical, which make "Hostel Part II" worth seeing if you are into a story with a chopful of violence.

When we last left "Hostel", Paxton (Jay Hernandez" was successful in escaping the clutches of his kidnappers and torturers, and manage to board a train to a safe haven. We then are introduced to three American girls, Beth (German), Whitney (Phillips), and Lorna (Matarazzo). Just like in the first film, Lorna is the shy one of the group. Needing to get away for no reason, the girls go on a tour to Eastern Europe and meet up with another girl from school, Axelle, who knows her way around Europe. As Axelle befriends the girls through some encounter with some guys on the train, she tells them of a place where the night's stay is cheap and they can meets guys and have a jolly good time. As you can see where I am with this, this was the same premise with the first film. As they get to the same hotel, the concierge takes their passports when they check in and scans them to be sent by email to the men who will be bidding for their lives. This is our first glimpse of how these killers get in on the action. Of these men, two are American, extremely hyper Todd (Burgi) and his pal, married man and reluctant Stuart (Bart)

It's only a matter of time before the girls are caught in the same situation the guys were in and are taken to the madhouse where the question is, "How long is it before they die?". We get death, death, and more blood. Word to the wise, don't ever look up when taking a bath after seeing this film. While Roth brings really nothing new to the picture in terms of style, he does add the mindset of the killers which wasn't explored in the first film and actually is the best thing in the film. Gone is the tension in the film. These girls are sitting ducks for death, and the story is very predictable but with Burgi and Bart, they add flavor to the film. They are the only characters that aren't one-note in their performance. If Roth can focus more on the why, as opposed to the who and what happens, then "Hostel Part II" would have been really good. Instead, he's managed to create something better than most of the horror films today.