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Mon, Jan. 9th, 2006, 07:36 am
Hostel

**I will be diligent to give vague references rather than direct spoilers*

I'm mixed.
However, from the point when the hero is besieged to the ending is fabulously done. And that's an understatement. The other two-thirds I had some issue with.

One of the things I liked about Cabin Fever was the sense of what was to come. Sure, the pace wasn't consistent, a barrel-full of cliches, and sometimes the wavering between horror and horror-comedy was a bit off -- but it was fun, I definitely enjoyed myself. An enormous plus was that it ended with an anxious look to a future of even better things from Mr Roth.

While I'm glad he didn't rehash Fever, I miss the gory humor. The standard for cinematic gore, to me, somewhat coincides with the proverbial rule list for a new actress showing her nude body. If it's important to the script, heightens the intensity, the character deserves it, the director figured out a way to make blood geyser from a wall -- which would look really cool, or it's over the top, or simply done in an intentionally cheesy/funny/or a cheer-rousing manner, then gore is good. By the bucket load.

The first two-thirds is interspersed with both intensity-raising gore (good) and brutal for the sake of being brutal (bad). Pity is, sometimes they were nearly hand-in-hand. There are brilliant shots -- particularly, a slow pan of wince-some instruments amid a backdrop of gut-wrenching wails -- that immediately detour into... oh, what's the word... ah, yes, "Hardcore" mini-travesties.

Another problem I had, and I cannot believe I'm saying this, was the sheer volume of bare breasts. As vaguely as is humanly possible: the bare breasts are an important aspect to the second third of the film. However, there are so many breasts before that point, the reasoning behind the characters embarking towards the second third is pretty freaking muddled. Where a viewer should've been able to say, "OOOOOH! Well, YEAH, I totally understand the urge to follow bare breasts wherever they go," I was instead thinking, "Wow. The actresses in Eastern Europe must be pretty liberal."

But the biggest problem was the title. If I go to see a horror film entitled, "The Outhouse", I kinda guess that the gritty is going to transpire at The Outhouse. So the whole time the cast is in The Bedroom, or on The Road, or Fucking in the Wilderness, I'm all about them getting to The Outhouse. This film was called The Hostel. They're on a train, in a club -- and my brain was, "Are they there yet? Are they there yet?"

Inevitably, once they got there, it wasn't nearly as shocking as it could have been, since the anticipation had been overwhelming from the get-go. The great plot was, I think, hindered by this anticipation factor. If the entire film had taken place at the hostel, then the title would be understandable. As is, it's a spoiler.

Two Kudos:
-- There is (I mean, it CAN'T be anything but this) a delicious reference to Better Off Dead. Yay!
-- Hoffman stole the show.

I don't have a rating scale, but I will surely see it again :)