This review is based on true events. And so, supposedly is "Hostel," the tale of three backpackers (played by Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson...
This review is based on true events.
And so, supposedly is “Hostel,” the tale of three backpackers (played by Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson and Eythor Gudjonsson) in Europe who make a wrong turn after Amsterdam and wind up in a hell house where obnoxious tourists are hacked to pieces.
The “true events” that inspired the film have nothing to do with gullible travelers and gonzo surgeons. The story roots back to the Internet and a Web site claiming that in Thailand, there’s a business offering clients the chance to murder willing victims for a fee. You may as well call “King Kong” a biopic.
Often, the reality hook is used to compensate for a lack of plot. That’s certainly the case with “Hostel,” director Eli Roth’s follow-up to the 2003 hit “Cabin Fever.” It’s a clip reel of sicko tableaus. The torture scenes are inventively disgusting, but the narrative linking one murder to the next is sketchy.
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“Hostel,” with Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson and Eythor Gudjonsson. Written and directed by Eli Roth. 95 minutes. Rated R for brutal scenes of torture and violence, strong sexual content, language and drug use. Several theaters.
Genre fans should appreciate the envelope-pushing carnage, as a variety of medical devices and power tools are used to dismantle victims. Beyond the chop-shop delirium, however, there really isn’t much to the picture.
To say “Hostel” is superior to “Cabin Fever” is like comparing death by pickax to death by chainsaw. Roth remains a highly unoriginal director, but this time out he borrows ideas from better sources.
With “Cabin Fever,” Roth raided the ’80s teen-exploitation closet. “Hostel” takes a bloody cue from Asian cinema.
A scene involving the slicing of ankles is lifted directly from “Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance,” a surreal suspense film from South Korea’s Park Chan-wook. Japanese shock master Takashi Miike (“Ichi the Killer”) makes a cameo appearance as a suspicious businessman.
Quentin Tarantino serves as executive producer and lends his name to the marketing campaign. It’s easy to see why, since the film shares elements with the cheesy entertainment he lovingly recycles into better movies.
But essentially, “Hostel” is “Saw” plus sex, sans twist. Moviegoers who value story over splatter can consider this a “no vacancy” sign.