Posted on January 19, 2006 by Flames
What’s worse then going to Europe and losing your passport? Going to Europe and being tortured to death, that’s what.
Paxton and Josh are two buddies from the US backpacking their way through Europe. On their journey they have picked up an Icelander named Oli, and together the trio have made it their mission to smoke as much pot and chase as much tail as possible. This incentive has lead them to a Slovakian hostel where something much more terrifying and gruesome awaits them than beautiful women. Unfortunately for the boys, in this city, foreigners are kidnapped and, for the right price, tormented and tortured by their buyers.
If you’ve seen the trailer for this film you probably got the same impression I got: this is a torture flick. Well let me clear something up. There’s only about 15 minutes of torture in the film, which do no occur until almost halfway through the movie. Furthermore, the torture scenes they do show, while a bit stomach churning, are nothing you probably haven’t seen before. There were a couple parts I got a bit squeamish at, but nothing I couldn’t watch. In reality, there’s much more sex and nudity in this film then violence and gore. Not until the end of the film does it get quite violent. However, I would say that if you don’t have a strong stomach and are not comfortable with gore, this movie is not for you.
While there was more to this film then torture, the overall plot was very weak. You pretty much know what’s going to happen from watching the trailer, and everything else is very predictable. The first half of the movie is sex, second half violence, and that’s all there really is to it. There’s just not all that much to this film. Actually, I found that the best thing about the film was the acting, which I thought was very believable. I felt Jay Hernandez (Paxton) and Derek Richardson (Josh) did a good job. I also liked how the actor that played Oli (Eythor Gudjonsson) is actually from Iceland.
A few other noteworthy features of this film were the setting and the music. The setting was visually very interesting. The scenes from Amsterdam to Slovakia appropriately shifted the feel of the movie from lively and safe, to unsettling and dangerous. The music as well was fitting and did a good job of adding the needed tension to various parts in the film.
I suppose if someone went into this film knowing nothing about the premise it would be more entertaining and scary. However, odds are whoever sees this film will know what it’s about. While I didn’t hate the film, I definitely didn’t love it either. I don’t regret seeing it, but it’s not something I’d see again. At first glance the concept of the film seems original, however, as stated the overall story and series of events are incredibly predictable.
So, I’d say if you like horror movies like me and still really want to see this film give it a rent, but don’t have high expectations. Oh and, take my advice, this is definitely not a good movie for a first date.
Reviewer: Sara Drapp
Look for the Hostel Soundtrack at Amazon.com.