Let's lay the cards on the table: Hostel, to me, was one of the coldest, most blindly-conceived horror films to get released in years, basically acting as torture porn rather than an actual film. So, the fact that Hostel: Part II is more thuggishly ambivalent to thought and structure, more cold and condescending to its audience and its characters, and more wildly absurd in both tone and execution doesn't come as a surprise. To be honest, it makes sense that after two thoroughly fascinating horror experiments (Bug
and 28 Weeks Later
) are released that Hostel: Part II will easily make enough money to secure a third installment and will set the horror genre back a solid decade.
Basically, Part II is Hostel plus a B-cup. Three girls (Lauren German
, Bijou Phillips
, and Heather Matarazzo
) are in Europe studying art. One of the models for the art course is a statuesque beauty (Vera Jordanova
) who befriends the girls and starts a friendship with one girl that borders on lesbianism. Of course, the model gets them to go to a special hot springs and stay at a hostel. Shortly after arriving, the girls are drugged, dragged, and prepped for a slab or a death seat. Article continues below
Oh! I almost forgot. This time we also get to know the killers involved. There's the superior sportsman (Richard Burgi
) and his pseudo-homosexual family-man friend (Roger Bart
) who win the right to torture two of the girls for a solid fifty grand. We are let into the process of preparation: a tattoo must be acquired, tools for your session must be selected, and cheap, hollow emotions must be administered. Then when it's time to get down to business, the film, as if knowledgeable about how deep its ditch is, puts the pedal-to-the-metal and rushes through its last third.
What becomes most troubling in both instances of Hostel is its utter disregard for enjoyment coupled with a stunningly vapid sense of purpose. What one basically learns in the first Hostel is that foreigners are out to steal your money, torture you, and then kill you in très gruesome fashion. Oh, and women who want to sleep with you are in on it too! And yet, there's no sense of thrill in these scenes of terror, no sense of the macabre. Frankly, these moments of grandiose torment aren't even that creative; they're just shown to us, without any wit, taste, or thought. It could just be a horrendous remake of a decent snuff film Roth
Ostentatiously decking out the film with two major torture set-pieces, Roth makes the audio track a long clip of girls squealing, crying, pleading and whimpering for some salvation from the godless cathedral of pain, and this painful piece of ineptitude the actresses are stuck in. The director, who came on strong with his campy debut Cabin Fever, has regressed into a state of bratty cynicism, basically doing a big-boy take on frying ants on the sidewalk with a magnifying glass. Who am I kidding? Roth probably poured gasoline on the poor critters, flicked open the Zippo and attempted not to salivate too heavy. My only prayer is that this isn't happening outside his house right now.