ELI Roth's new film, Hostel, is just another average B-movie that will probably end up covered with dust on video store shelves.
Three promiscuous teenagers, two Americans and their friend from Iceland, are backpacking around Europe. In Amsterdam, they meet Alex, who tells them about a "mysterious" country with many beautiful girls and only a few men that lies deep in Eastern Europe.
Alex's tone is reminiscent of vampire flicks, as though he is speaking of Transylvania (a historical region of western Romania famous for Count Dracula). Surprisingly, the place actually on his mind is Slovakia.
The three pack their bags and jump on the next train. What first looks like a great vacation turns into a bloodbath. Instead of fun with girls, the three become prey for sadistic torturers.
More disturbing than the bizarre, sometimes even humorous, depictions of Slovakia and the occasional linguistic mix-ups (the Dutch speak German, Slovaks speak mostly Czech - paradoxically, the film was shot in the Czech Republic and Germany), is the uninspired script. The storyline is predictable from the start. Anyone familiar with the genre knows what to expect. Moreover, the characters are too shallow, even for a horror film.
Hostel offers nothing but pure gore, and gallons of it. Bodies are disfigured and body parts sawed off. The screaming that accompanies the torture is unpleasant, but not frightening.
By Ondrej Starinský