Well, let’s start here with the obvious: this is not very nice. Understatement of the year. My memory of the first Hostel is actually pretty vague but I know it was pretty horrible though that was mainly because I managed to find myself eating roast lamb while it was on, lol. Whatever it was made me squeamish there, though, I also remember thinking when the sequel was announced, ‘it couldn’t possibly beat the original on the gore front …’
Cut to Heather Matarazzo hanging upside down and naked over some kind of Ingrid Pitt wannabe armed with a scythe in a candelit tub and not a bucket of water in sight. When I saw Matarazzo’s name in the opening credits here, part of me was pretty much the title of a recent post on her IMDb message board: “What’s a nice girl like you doing in a movie like this?” The other part of me was, like, awesome! She livens any movie she’s in, and this is no exception, even despite her earlier departure. But needless to say, that particular departure is something I’d kind of rather I didn’t have to see. I’m not gonna avoid seeing it … watching movies is too huge a part of my life … but, y’know? It’d be kind of nice if it didn’t exist in the first place.
Which is actually this movie in a nutshell. The Matarazzo scene is quickly followed by the killing of a young boy in the woods. The gun used is first pointed one by one at a whole line of children, and I really felt wrong that though I was ready to look away, my glance never quite left the screen. As with all of Eli Roth’s work, this is really well-made and I just can’t ignore that fact. S’just, again, it beggars the question, “Why?” There are good reasons for this kind of movie, but something about this series in particular makes me think the reasoning is a little more twisted, sinister, and gratuitous.
It’s horrible. It probably should be illegal. It’s the kind of thing that makes me think, “If this kind of thing is making a killing at the mainstream box office, then why are certain other thought-crimes considered so deplorable?” But, I’ve gotta be honest, it’s also possibly the best “real-life” horror movie since Wes Craven’s Last House on the Left. And it blows Quentin’s Death Proof way out of the water as far as I’m concerned. But like I said, I’m not sure I like the fact that it exists in the first place.
One thing I would say to prospective viewers: do stay around for the whole thing, because the ending quells a lot of the apprehensions you might get, that I certainly got, for what preceeds it. I’m not the kind of person who walks out of or switches off movies midway; I had my moment during the 1998 Lost in Space movie where I could’ve become that person, and when the end credits rolled on that, I decided that if I didn’t walk out of that, then I would never walk out on anything (incidentally, I’ve since grown to love that movie); but I came pretty close to that moment again here, really early on. Trust me, the ending makes it all kind of okay.