This is a review for the first Hostel and as always there will be spoilers. You will be happy to know that this is a movie I actually liked. I really liked it. Which is weird cause a lot of people seem to hate it. Say it’s boring and whatever. I don’t think that. I think that people are upset there isn’t enough torture which is retarded considering the awesome characters created for the movie. It’s about two guys, Josh and Paxton, who go on a trip to Europe (Amsterdam mostly) to smoke pot and fuck girls and backpack around. They meet with a weird black market cartel that sells tourists in order for crazy-ass foreign people to torture and kill them for large amounts of money.
It starts off with Josh and Paxton in Amsterdam getting high and visiting the red light district to fuck prostitutes. Along the way, they meet up with another guy named Ole. At least I think that’s how it’s spelled. They get locked out of their Hostel and end up with this German guy who tells them that the best pussy is in Slovakia. That the girls there go nuts for American tourists. They decide they have time and money so they go on the train to Slovakia to have some fun.
On the train, they meet some weird guy who kind of hits on Josh but he’s having none of that (this is important later). Then they get to the Hostel and check in. They meet some hot girls, go clubbing with them, fuck them, and then as it turns out the girls work for this black market thing to capture tourists and sell them. Josh is drugged and he’s the first one to go, leaving Paxton to look for him. As it turns out, the guy who hit on Josh on the train ended up buying him and taking him to some weird factory/warehouse type thing to torture and kill him. Paxton isn’t leaving without his friend so he decides that he’s going to investigate.
This leads him to the girls who they fucked (one of whom drugged and got Josh killed) and she takes him to the warehouse. He’s tied up and gets tortured and shit but manages to escape. The problem is that he hears a girl screaming in there. A girl he knew from the hostel. Her name is Kana and she’s Japanese. Now, earlier in the movie he tells a story about how when he was younger he saw a girl drown. He said that the scream of the mother when she found her daughter was dead, would haunt him for the rest of his life. So as he’s leaving he knows he can’t leave this girl behind and he runs back in and saves her. Now this is what I’m talking about with awesome characters. Is there a lot of dialogue in this movie? Yes but it all builds to something amazing by the end. That’s why I like it. It’s not all just senseless torture and violence. It paints a picture of two college boys trying to have fun and ending up in a horrible situation. It makes them empathetic. It makes them real. That’s why I enjoyed this movie so much.
There’s also a way they filmed it. A gritty, intense feeling to it. One of Eli Roth’s earlier works before he went all commercial and stupid and sold out. It was well written and though torture was in there, it wasn’t the main driving force of the movie like the sequel was. I really liked Paxton and I really felt for him. By the end, when he’s running over the girls that got Josh killed (and tried to kill him) you just feel so awesomely happy. He tracks down the man that murdered Josh and kills him in a train station bathroom then presumably heads home with a fucked up hand (some fingers got cut off in the process of his torture).
This movie (unlike the sequel) is believable. Especially from an American standpoint. Do I really think it’s happening? I guess potentially it could but it wouldn’t go on for too long before someone got caught. I do know that the premise is a neat one and if done right it has the ability to actually happen in other countries. It really preys on the American fear of being somewhere entirely unknown where it’s nearly impossible to get help due to the culture and language barriers. Of being in a strange place, and having no one there to help you. I would definitely recommend this film to people who like psychological thrillers and intense action. The torture scenes are over the top and brutal but there aren’t a ton of them. In the commentary, it was said that the actor who played Josh actually hurt himself (accidentally) in his torture scenes so his screams were real. Which really adds to the intensity of the film. Overall, this is one of the better early 2000s horror movies. Around the time where basically any horror stopped being good.