Thursday Night Movie Club
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Release Date: January 6, 2006

Director: Eli Roth
Jay Hernandez
Derek Richardson
Eythor Gudjonsson
Barbara Nedeljakova
Jan Vlasák
Jana Kaderabkova
Jennifer Lim
Lubomir Bukovy
Jana Havlickova
Rick Hoffman
Petr Janis
Takashi Miike
Patrik Zigo
Milda Jedi Havlas
Martin Kubacák
The Dutch Businessman
The American Client
The German Surgeon
Man Outside Torture Chamber
Bubble Gum Gang Leader
Desk Clerk Jedi
The Scarred Cab Driver
Hostel movie poster #1 Hostel movie poster #2
The torture chambers in Hostel Hostel tries to emulate the earlier Saw but fails miserably. The torture scenes are squeamish, but more psychological than graphic. The story only gets interesting after the torture scenes. The acting is OK but the characters are not effecting.

Two Americans are traveling Europe. Through their travels, they meet up with Swede Oli and form a traveling three-some on the hunt for sex. Drugs and booze are part of the equation, but sex is the key motivating factor.

Locked out of the hostel in Holland, the three are saved by a man heavily into marijuana. Allowing the travelers to enter his room, they are surprised by the sex going on right in front of them. Trying to ignore the obvious, they do more drugs and chat with their new benefactor. He tells them that the best women are in Prague. Sex is easy to find and the women are all drop-dead gorgeous. Next morning, the boys head out in search of Paradise.

Upon arrival in Prague, the travelers find their wildest fantasies realized when they enter their room to find three gorgeous, naked women dressing to go to the spa in the hostel. They invite their new roommates to join them. What horny fool on the planet wouldn't take up an offer like that?

Jan Vlasák as The Dutch Businessman.After a meeting the girls in the spa, a night of debauchery ensues. Unfortunately, when the morning comes, Oli has gone missing. Attempts to reach him fail. Everything looks innocent to the Americans. They go about their business still trying to find Oli.

After the following night of drunken debauchery with their new female acquaintances, Josh goes missing. It is up to surviving Paxton to discover what is going on. He ultimately discovers what is happening, but not before experiencing things himself. The truth behind the hostel is wealthy people paying to indulge in their wildest fantasies.

Hostel only gets marginally interesting after Paxton discovers the truth. The events that follow are both shocking and "who cares". Hostel never reaches a level of pure suspense or skin-crawling shocks. The torture scenes are graphic, to a point, but very short-lived. Afterwards, there is an empty feeling. Something that you can't quiet put your finger on. When the movie ends, you are left with that same feeling. Mostly, it is Paxton's reaction to what is happening. After physical and mental abuse, his reactions are surprising. He looks for survival, not revenge. Paxton is faced with a decision. Once he discovers the truth, what to do next? His decision is too safe for a movie. Personally, I would have gone for bloodshed and press releases. Kill enough people and the press will get wind of the story, and press hounds love a good scoop.

The movie ultimately fails on building or maintaining any suspense. The characters go through the motions but the resolution is unsatisfying. When the film ends, the bottom-line conclusion is: who cares.

torture chamberWhere to put the blame for this? The direction is good, atmospheric and dark with an tingy edge to every scene. The main problem is either in the writing or the acting. None of the three travelers are likeable. None of them have character traits to relate to. In fact, they are sub-normal for a movie. The characters might be reacting to the extraordinary situations like normal people, but this is a movie. Normalcy is not the norm in this medium. The characters must rise above normalcy for optimal effect. Film is designed for more than normal characters. Paxton is here only to move the story to an unsatisfying conclusion.

The ultimate failure of Hostel is in the writing. By the time Paxton decides on revenge, it is too little, too late. Harry Potter said once, "it didn't make any difference." In that case, Harry was wrong. Here, it was right. The true happenings in the hostel remain in tact. Paxton's final resolution made absolutely no difference what so ever. The darkness behind the hostel are still active. Maybe the producers were hoping for financial success to make a sequel to finish the story. Let's hope not!

The only positive is the women of Prague. They are gorgeous and the nudity is gratuitously welcomed. One of the strangest lines in cinema history is uttered in this movie. One of the characters says, "I paid good money for you, so now you are my dog." (or something like that) However, this character is not one of the torturers so the movie fails on what is the real purpose of the hostel, pay for play!