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August 14th, 2006:
Three girlfriends, while studying in Italy during the summer, find themselves lured into a deadly situation. They wind up in a demented underground torture club where wealthy businessmen pay good money to mutilate and eventually murder their victims. As they battle for their survival, they come to realize that they have become a part of a deeply rooted organization. The torture ring in Italy is only a fraction of a disturbing chain with locations all over the rest of the globe.What to Expect:
For anyone unfamiliar with its story, the original Hostel starred Jay Hernandez
and Derek Richardson as two American college buddies backpacking across Europe. While making their way through Slovakia, the duo gets baited into a nightmarish secret club where they become the victims of the most unimaginably violent acts. In this underground ring, rich and powerful men from around the world get their kicks by torturing and killing innocent people by whatever means happen to excite them. The film is cruel, brutal, and unyielding in its depiction of gore and brutality. On the heels of the Saw
franchise and with a little promotional help from Quentin Tarantino
, Hostel became an instant hit in January, earlier this year. Following the successful $20 million opening weekend, the sequel was greenlit almost immediately. Article continues below
All of the success brought instant recognition to writer-director Eli Roth
, whose only other feature credit is the similarly gory horror
flick, Cabin Fever. With both of his films he has managed to polarize critics – some call his films good, brainless fun, while others find his work to be tasteless, mindless drivel. Either way, there is no argument for his films being of a highly cerebral nature. While writing the first Hostel, Roth locked himself up in his home for several months and remained in seclusion from the outside world by shutting off his phones. Being superstitious and hoping to recreate the success of the original, he is doing the same while writing the sequel. Reportedly, at one stage, he and Tarantino were both brainstorming ideas, focusing chiefly on new and sickly elaborate means of torture. It was actually Tarantino’s suggestion to have the sequel focus on female protagonists. Whatever Roth may still be cooking up, he does not have much time as shooting is scheduled to begin in September, with principal photography taking place in the stunning city of Prague in the Czech Republic as well as in Rome, Italy and possibly Slovakia.
The sequel is said to begin the moment the original ends, literally with the next cut. It will show Paxton (Hernandez), the hero from the first Hostel, struggling with inner demons following his ordeal. It was rumored at one point that in an earlier draft of the original film’s screenplay, Paxton was going to become the villain, but Roth scrapped that plan. He has since reconsidered and may actually follow his initial instincts in the sequel as a way to present Paxton’s total transformation by the harrowing events that had transpired. The filmmaker assures that the sequel will “start off scary and stay creepy all the way through” and that it will feature plenty more blood and torture. It will also return to a lot of familiar places as it establishes the underground organization as a franchise chain, with locations all over the world. Roth promises to go into the details and all the ins and outs of how the selection process works when the organization recruits its victims.
Unfortunately, I look at Hostel as a Saw copycat. Both films revolve around themes of human torture, with the victims ultimately having to come face to face with death. We, the audience, get to be witnesses to their suffering, voyeuristically and vicariously taking in the experience almost like a sport. In both cases, the manner in which people are killed is much more important than story or character development. This is where Roth’s focus on new torture ideas is so very telling of the direction this film will be taken in – no new concepts, just new death scenes. Of course, Saw is perfecting that sort of pattern as well. As a result, Hostel 2 will be a copy of a copy, which is not a very good place to start. The way I see it, the chain of underground torture clubs represents the Hostel movie franchise itself and we, the audience, are the ones that are being tortured.In Conclusion:
The speed with which this sequel was being churned out was immediately disappointing to me, but recently, the film’s wholly unrealistic January release date was cancelled. The delay should give the filmmakers the proper time to develop a worthwhile picture, but I really don’t believe that it changes their primary motivation: To make as much money as quickly as possible. If they do, then Hostel: Part III will be announced as soon as the opening weekend numbers for Hostel: Part II are confirmed. Much like with the Saw and Scary Movie
series, the audience has an unrestricted capacity for franchises, even if they tend to repeat themselves. I predict that Hostel: Part II will outperform the original at the box-office and we will be talking about the third part shortly thereafter.Similar Titles: Hostel
, Saw II
, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre