After the mediocrity that was Cabin Fever, I had little expectation for Eli Roth's new horror flick, Hostel. However, after watching the North American preview at the Toronto Film Festival, I was pleasantly surprised. I went to the midnight showing and when the movie was finished I've got to say, I was a little anxious going home.The movie dispenses with much of the clever, self-congratulatory repartee made so popular in horror films since Scream and its imitators. It opts instead for the old fashioned horror staples of nudity, terror, blood and tension. It was original, well filmed <more>
and well acted by a stable of Eastern European unknowns. Since we didn't see the final cut, I am anxious about how it will show in theaters. I hope that Hostel keeps its edge. If so, it will emerge as a modern-day horror classic.
Saw Hostel at Toronto Film Fest Today (by darryl-shaw)
This is what horror is all about.Not your music video, hip-hop editing, glossy, PG-13 flavor of the week popcorn BS. This IS hardcore.If you want to see a horror movie that doesn't look away, that stays in the room long after every other movie has squirmed to some other reassuring shot- then you need to watch this movie.Eli Roth shows that he's not a one off- he's a true innovator, the future of the genre, and I hope he inspires many others in reviving Horror from the Kevin Williamson-esquire lull which was good in the beginning back down to the depths of visceral <more>
balls-to-the-wall hell ride it should be not a Disney theme park ride .You know there's hope when Tarantino is the Exec producer! Watch this movie Pre-neutered un cut! if you can. My real fear now, is that the censors will cut this movie down to the opening half hour.
One of the best horror films I've ever seen, the clever script is the backbone, and Eythor Gudjonsson is a wonderful representative of Iceland. His presence and light spirited humor, is a great asset to the film and makes a good and poetic contrast to the latter part. Now we all know what "sneepur" is. I'm still feeling a little sick after seeing the film, and am unable to go to sleep, both because I'm afraid I'll get one of those nightmares and the adrenalin level is too high! There are many very good twists and turns in this film and it is never foreseeable. Many <more>
solutions in the script are brilliant, to say the least. Eli Roth is doing a perfect job. I can't even remember when I saw a decent horror film. This film is like a long awaited rain of blood in the desert. To set the story in the murky eastern Europe is a good move, because who knows what's going on out there? For all I know there might be such a thing going on right now. I mean, Count Dracula was alive and kicking once, or still is, in his native Romania. Where there is smoke, there must be a fire.I would recommend this film to anyone... except my grandmother.
Moral Choices and the Dark Side of Humanity (by BigMez)
I just got back from an L.A. screening of Hostel. I haven't seen an effective horror film like this in a long time. My stomach was still knotted up after we left the screening. The last time I felt like that was when I saw ALIENS for the first time about 19 years ago. Since then, no other horror film has ever made me feel like that. I certainly didn't expect it from this one. As much as I loved Cabin Fever, I'm not blind to the shortcomings of its script. As such,I was expecting more of the same from Hostel - dark humor, gore, and a sense of dread. I'm happy to see that <more>
director Eli Roth has taken a big step forward in becoming a better storyteller and filmmaker.Admittedly my heart sank when the film began. The scenes introducing the main characters were blandly shot and edited. All I could think was, 'Oh no. Roth succumbed to some unseen studio pressure to make a normal-looking horror flick'. The style was typical of the what you'd see in crap like I know what you did last summer. But in very subtle ways, the blandness gets washed away and as our heroes enter the threshold of Hell, the style of the film changes as well. This, I learned during the Q&A afterwards with Roth, was intentional.If you've read some of the other reviews posted here from people who saw it at the Toronto Film Festival, you get the general idea of the story. Contrary to what you might've heard, this is not a 90 minute film on torture. The torture scenes are brief and to the point. Roth doesn't wallow in pointless gore. And this is where I think it shows how he's improved as a filmmaker. He's more interested in scenes and ideas that move the story forward. Yes, there is plenty of gore, but it's relevant to the story and doesn't exist just for it's own sake.One of the aspects of this film that made it so powerful was how Roth created a sense of helpless and inevitability. He provides the dark setup, throws in a sympathetic character, and begins twisting the screws and ratcheting up the suspense. This isn't a movie where you turn off your brain to enjoy it. On the contrary. The more you think about it, the more horrifying it becomes. You begin putting yourself into the character's situation and wondering what you'd do. When you realize that there is no hope for the character, no way to escape, no 'buddy' who's gonna turn up at the last minute to save the hero, and not a shred of humanity or compassion to the antagonists, real fear begins to set in.Another great element in the script is how the 'survivor' makes moral choices that define their character. Instead of being merely reactive like the characters in Cabin Fever, the survivor makes several decisions which change the course of the story. It's a sign of well thought-out script and a filmmaker who cares about the fate of his characters.For horror fans, this is an absolute must-see. It's so refreshing to see a horror movie that actually makes you feel uncomfortable and one in which you have no idea what's going to happen next. As for the gore, I was surprised by what they got away with. Although there were no credits at the end of the film, the cut I saw was rated R by the MPAA and according to Roth, he didn't cut anything out.
Eli Roth redeems himself with the kick-ass Hostel (by Kujo1)
I was one of those people that hated everything about Cabin Fever. I wasn't anticipating Eli Roth's next film, but when I heard the Internet buzz around Hostel, and found it was showing at the 2005 TIFF Toronto International Film Festival , I decided to check it out.Eli Roth, who was at the screening, mentioned to the audience that this was the first public viewing in North America. He also told us what we were about to see was a work in progress print of the film. What I saw was one hell of a fierce horror flick that works on every level.All the actors do a great job in this flick. <more>
I was especially impressed with Jay Hernandez, and Derek Richardson, two relatively unknown actors. There are a lot of funny scenes, and dialog in the early parts of the film. It's not that slapstick, forced stuff that was so prevalent in Cabin Fever. There also lots of nudity in the early parts in the film as well. When things begin to turn towards horror, you truly feel the sense of terror the characters are going through. The build up to the climax is just done so well. I loved the fact the story is very believable.Make no mistake about it, this is a violent, sick, and gory flick. It's not for the squeamish. I haven't seen this type of extreme violence in a North America mainstream cinema. The Takashi Miike, and Asian Cinema influences are clearly seen here.This is a film that will shock people, and remain in there heads well after the film is over. It will be interesting to see how the film is edited, and rated. In it's current state, I don't see how it could get anything less than the dreaded NC-17 rating. I just hope that it's not butchered too much, as the audience deserves to see the film how it was intended. Eli Roth has completely redeemed himself for what I thought was a very poor film in Cabin Fever, and has made one kick-ass horror film.
As a rule, I find horror films a little tiresome, but Hostel starts with a great premise and slowly builds up to some outrageous horror. The film tips its hat to some of the classics, and there's even a delightful cameo of Pulp Fiction playing in the background. It's not good that the premise of the movie is revealed in the IMDb listing as you don't learn the truth until near the end of the movie and it all starts to make a lot more sense. One thing about horror films which has always bugged me is that the bad guys never seem real to me, as if they are some kind of limitless <more>
satanic evil or whatever. In Hostel, by contrast, we really believe that the scenario is very plausible and for that, all the more frightening. I wouldn't be surprised at all if this kind of thing goes on in certain parts of the world. As far as maximum creep value, I saw it in a packed house at a screening in Beverly Hills last night, and many in the audience couldn't take it and ran out -- one guy was retching in the bathroom and was too scared to leave! The organizer had to talk him down and call one of his friends to take him home. The director was there for a Q&A which will be on the Creative Screen writing Magazine podcast, and he said that at one test screening they had to call a ambulances for two different people. It appears that the explicit sex, torture and violence will not be toned down for the theatrical release and it will still have an R rating instead of NC-17 which most of us thought it deserved. The trick, is that there is no sex during the violent scenes, and no violence in the sex scenes, which makes the MPAA more comfortable. By the way, this was shot near Prague, and is amazingly beautiful to look at -- I was there a month ago and the place is like something out of a fairy tale unlike most historic European areas, there isn't a McDonalds every hundred feet . The ending is very, very satisfying yet believable and unforced. The audience was screaming, gasping, cheering, and hiding their faces at all the right moments. Eli's interview was a hoot, also, so check out the podcast once they post it on itunes. It's worth it for no other reason than to hear his anti-Union rant!
I enjoyed the movie more than most commentators it appears, and not just cause it was bloody and had lots of boobies. The first 20 mins are just full of titties titties titties and yes, there are plenty of homophobic remarks that make us or at least me not so supportive our alleged heroes. but after the titties, the real fun begins. --SPOILER -- The torture scenes are graphic, but not as bad as I thought they'd be - they aren't relentless and overdone, but have just the right piquant tastes of grotesque and terror. The scene with the kid pleading for his life in German was very <more>
effective - thought maybe i should pick up some German for situations like these. as for the other commentators complaining that the characters were jerks - that's actually part of what makes this movie so good - Usually it's the nice, earnest, innocent hero/heroine goes through hell but always makes it out alive - being rewarded by fate or god or whatever for being good. but here the nice st fellow of the three bites it, in a bad way, leaving us to think we've got no one to root for. left with the jackass, we're forced us shift our alligence to a less likable hero - that is unless you're rooting for the torturers. Nice twist really. --SPOILER -- What really did it for me and probably why i give this movie such a high rating are the revenge scenes. In most movies, our beleaguered hero/heroine escapes, we have the one last scare and the hero/heroine kills the bad thing and then we all go home. But we all kinda feel hollow, like the bad thing's death just wasn't enough to make up for all the crap our hero/heroine had to go through. Here, in Hostel- the last 10 mins outta nowhere change from horror into a revenge film and it's quite satisfying, like a big ole bacon cheeseburger. Everyone that brought our characters to their lowly states gets it and gets it good. I wish I had a pack of wild orphaned gypsy children to do my bidding for bubble gum.
Daft American tourists in a European wonderland (by The_Void)
You can say what you like about Eli Roth, but you can't say he doesn't have vision. Roth has said on numerous occasions that he wants to bring the old-school grindhouse style back to cinema, and while Hostel is no masterpiece - it's safe to say that Roth has achieved his aim. Hostel is one of the grisliest films to come out of America in years; and what it lacks in originality is made up for with in your face gratuity. I'm actually one of the few that rates Cabin Fever as both a good film and a promising debut, and it's safe to say that Roth's prowess has a director <more>
has grew in the three years since the release of his first film. It's also safe to say that he's targeted his audience well, and Hostel is sure to appeal to fans of grisly, gory horror that leaves nothing to the imagination. The simple plot follows two Americans and their Icelandic friend on a backpacking trip through Europe. We first meet them in Amsterdam where they are directed to a Slovakian hostel on the promise of beautiful and easy girls by a stoned Dutch man. Everything is going well for the trio...until they start getting killed.Roth shoots on location in Europe, and this brings a great style to the film. We start off in sleazy Amsterdam, where drugs and naked girls are the order of the day. From there, we move onto a beautiful village in Slovakia, upon which Roth creates a great sense of wonder. The central location is an abandoned hospital, and this setting provides the scene for all the ghastly action once the movie turns into a horror film. Hostel is a film of two halves; we start off with a scenario that reminded me a lot of 'An American Werewolf in Paris', in that wide-eyed American tourists are seen taking in the sights of Europe. There's no horror early on, but there's lots of comedy and this allows Roth to build his characters and show the audience a good time. Once it becomes a horror film, the shocks come thick and fast and the second half of the film is very different from first; but also very good. The characters and acting are both surprisingly well done. Although they're not exactly deep, Roth's teens are easy to like and it actually is a shame once they enter the chamber of horrors. The horror scenes are more along the lines of cringe-worthy torture than any real scares; but Roth makes good of it, as mystery is created early on and then the film breaks into a thrilling climax towards the end. The ending itself is really good, and provides the perfect finale to a grotesque monster of a film. Well worth ninety minutes of your time.
To the negative critics: you're ALL idiots! (by lets_go_bowling10)
I've read nothing but how bad everybody thought this movie was. But come on, what was it that you really disliked about it? The excessive blood and violence? Disturbing content? The sex? Or was it the fact that Tarantino had very little to do with it? 90% of what I've read seems to be the last option. Just because Quentin isn't directing it it's a bad movie? Bulls***! The acting was brilliant, any performing artist would have to agree. Jay Hernandez put on a very real performance, and stellar at that. The rest of the cast was quite good as well, especially since for almost all <more>
of them, Hostel was their first real break in the business and Oli's VERY FIRST movie...that a boy, King of Swing! .I think most of you are just being critical for the sake of being critical, but seriously, open your eyes...so I can burn 'em with a blowtorch! HAHAHA! P.S. this is a brilliant example - how many movies do you see something like THAT? Anyways, although the story pretty well revolves around a bunch of guys trying to get laid in Europe, you gotta respect Eli Roth's ability to provide us viewers with a crazy little thing called "shock value". I look forward to the sequel...it better not suck.