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A movie directed by Eli Roth

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Hostel -- one of the worst movies of all time

  • Oct 13, 2010
Terrible referred to truly horrifying things like the movie Showgirls or giant squid-things that leave you sincerely wondering how they could come into being on the earth as we know it.” This is a quote from John McWhorter’s book The Power of Babel a linguistics book I started reading last night. I really had no idea that this glib and hysterical comment would be useful just the next day. Add to that, I never thought I’d see a movie worse than Hannibal and you get a perfect storm of coincidence. Hostel is easily the worst movie I have ever seen.

No kidding. There is not one single thing that is redeemable about this flick. None.

The story is that 2 American males go to Europe after college graduation to have sex with European women. Since the lower head leads the way, they get tricked to making a trip to Slovakia to find women whose . .. ehm . . . beauty is evident on a Slav stoner’s cell phone. The 2 Americans have hooked up with an older Icelander who serves only to show that sex hunting, otherwise mostly brainlessness isn’t just an American male trait, but a male trait regardless of nationality. They register at a Hostel in an area ‘outside’ of the Slovakian capital of Bratislava. The Icelander doesn’t make it through to dawn. The sensitive would-be writer doesn’t make it through the next night. The last left survives.

Ostensibly, visitors to the Slovakian hostel all become victims to a stereotypical German. This man takes the vacationers and sells them to people who want to kill them in whatever gruesome manner they desire. That’s it.

The movie is constructed, if you can say even that, by using the standard gore movie structure of one sexy victim after another with only one surviving. Along with the stereotypical German are stereotypical Slavs. Having visited all of the areas covered in the film the only thing I can say is it gets all of them wrong. All of the Slavs I saw did, in fact, know how to bathe.

Literally, this is a formulaic piece that is meant to do only one thing, make you ill. But it even fails on that front—anyone sitting through the first 20 minutes of the bad-for-different reasons Saving Private Ryan saw worse gore and that gore had an acceptable context. The gore in Hostel is no different from sex in a standard porn movie: it is the reason you watch it, the talky bits in between are just noisome.

There is zero character development. To say that the characters are flat gives them at least one full dimension than they actually have. Three of them scream really well, but that is hardly a rare talent.

The men are all looking for the one thing we are led to believe all men want all the time; that a woman is attached to it is, again, noisome. All of the women are busty and given only one piece of advice from the director: stand with a posture that pokes out the breasts to maximum and look as slutty as possible. But again, this is standard gore movie format. Have sex, die a horrible death, look slutty, die a horrible death. I think the characters in movies like this all draw straws, and the short straw makes it to the end of the movie because there is no reasonable rationale for why one character makes it over another.

The camera work wasn't any better than the character development. Anyone still in film school could have filmed or edited it with the same effect. The mood music was so predictable that it need not be used at all--at least there might be a tiny bit of suspense if it had been left out.

There are only 2 things I can think of that would tend to make this movie slightly more unique than its fellows. One, a male is the survivor, not a busty and sweaty female; two, the survivor gets full revenge, nothing left hanging in any meaningful way—no that this trifle has stood in the way of any number of sequels. But the manner of this revenge does break the mold just a wee bit.

In the final analysis, I could only come to a couple of minor conclusions, if you are American and caught in a situation where you are about to be carved up with a chainsaw, if you speak a foreign language—preferably one of Germanic or Slavic origin—then the chances of you surviving are better than if you don’t speak a foreign language. If you are male and in Eastern Europe, don’t trust any female whose bust size is larger than your IQ. If you are a Japanese woman . . . beware of Slavic trains. Basically, I think the movie is saying that if you are unmarried and young, don’t go to Eastern Europe unless you want to come home with fewer digits than you left with, if you come home at all.

To paraphrase Comic Book Guy on The Simpsons “Worst . . . movie . . . ever.”

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November 06, 2010
I agree with you -- it was horrible and I could not finish watching it. Great review!!
October 28, 2010
Great review...I liked this film more than you did, but all opinions are welcome in our community! Thanks!
October 13, 2010
Although I disagree I have to say this is an excellent review, very well done.
More Hostel reviews
review by . November 19, 2008
I'll admit it: I'm biased. I should have never gone to see this movie. I hate gorey horror flicks. However, I do try to find some redeeming quality in every movie I see. I'm enough of a movie buff to be able to appreciate the score even if I hate the movie, or appreciate a small cameo appearance when the main characters all make me want to punch someone.     Hostel has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. The plot line is predictable in a way I haven't witnessed since the last …
review by . October 15, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: ...     Cons: ...     The Bottom Line:   "Just scream   let the voices out, lord   Just scream   Let the voices out"   ~Tom Cochrane         This was a fairly disturbing film that I can only qualify as ‘slasher flick'. It wasn't horror, although it was certainly horrible in mannerism, and it isn't monster, although it serves up several two-legged monsters …
review by . November 17, 2008
(To the tune of The Eagles' Hotel California)     In a dark Slovak hostel   Free love fills the air   Warm heat from the spa steam   Heating guys everywhere   At night there's the disco   But no shimmering lights   When you get dizzy and your legs get weak   It's time to stop for the night   There they stand in the doorway   All but ringing a bell   And he was thinking to himself …
review by . November 08, 2008
Amsterdam, one of the funnest places in the world. Where better to begin our trip? Paxton (Jay Hernandez) and Josh (Derek Richardson) are two horny young men vacationing through Europe with new friend, Oli (Eythor Gudjonsson). Staying in a hostel in Amsterdam and accidentally locked out after curfew, they are invited in through the window of a neighboring house by an oddball named Alex (Lubomir Bukovy).     Alex tells the young men of a hostel in Slovakia where the girls will …
review by . July 16, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
I remember hearing that this movie was so scary and disturbing from a friend of mine. That it is one of the first real creepy movies of the 21st century. I am here to tell you that this is the one of the dumbest and low grade movies I have seen in a long time. As a matter of fact I was laughing out loud at how stupid it was. I honestly don't care if Quentin Tarantino's name is attached to this movie "Hostel" was awful and dreadful. Now the R rating has its merit, there is plenty of gore, language …
review by . July 18, 2006
I didn't like Hostel. The premise is frightening. The idea of being drugged, kidnapped, tortured, and killed by people who are paying to do it, is a great concept for a film. It's just too bad that the movie couldn't decide what it wanted to be.    It starts off like "Eurotrip" or any number of cheesy teen sex comedies. Lots of nudity and a number characters acting idiotic and giddy, in a fake atmosphere. Scenes in dance clubs that don't look realistic. Anyway, this goes on and …
review by . May 13, 2006
"Hostel" is quite a step up from "Cabin Fever" for writer/director Eli Roth. He seems to take his characters and their development quite a bit more serious than in his previous effort. I actually felt some attachment to Jay Hernandez' character once he realizes what's happening in this tale. With that said, however, I wouldn't rank "Hostel" among the top thrillers or horror flicks in the genre.    First off, just having a lot of gore and blood pumped on to the screen doesn't …
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Paul Savage ()
Ranked #56
I name and describe everything and classify most things. If 'it' already had a name, the one I just gave it is better.
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About this movie


Starring Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson, Eythor Gudjonsson, Barbara Nedeljakova
Directed by Eli Roth
Writer:  Eli Roth

Product Description
Presented by genre master Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2) and directed by Eli Roth (Cabin Fever) Hostel is a shocking and relentless film in the tradition of Saw about two American backpackers (Jay Hernandez Friday Night Lights and Derek Richardson Dumb and Dumberer) in Europe who find themselves lured in as victims of a murder-for-profit business.Paxton and Josh two college friends are lured by a fellow traveler to what's described as a nirvana for American backpackers a particular hostel in an out-of-the-way Slovakian town stocked with Eastern European women as desperate as they are gorgeous. The two friends arrive and soon easily pair off with exotic beauties Natalya and Svetlana. In fact too easily...Initially distracted by the good time they're having the two Americans quickly find themselves trapped in an increasingly sinister situation that they will discover is as wide and as deep as the darkest sickest recess of human nature itself if they survive.System Requirements:Run Time: 94 minutesFormat: DVD MOVIE Genre: ACTION/ADVENTURE/THRILLERS Rating: UNRATED UPC: 043396138384 Manufacturer No: 13838
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