WARNING: THIS BLOG CONTAINS BODYCOUNT. HIGH RISK OF SPOILERS. ENTER IF YOU DARE.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Welcome Back to "Bratislava": Hostel II (2007)

Hostel II (2007)
rating:****1/2
starring: Lauren German, Heather Matarazzo and Bijou Phillips

It is weird that I find this sequel better and badder (in a good way) in every sense compared to the original torture porn "classic?

Hostel II starts a few months after the events of the first movie, Paxton, the (un)lucky survivor of the previous slaughter, is alive and well, but suffers from a constant attack of survivor's guilt and night terrors, much to the complaints of his girlfriend. But as much as she is getting impatient with her boyfriend's plight, she later gets a big surprise the following morning when, upon waking up, she finds our "Final Boy" headless.


We then forward ourselves some time later to a new set of teens vacationing in Bratislava; friends Beth (Lauren German), Lorna (Heather Matarazzo) and Whitney (Bijou Phillips) find themselves accompanied by the mysterious Axelle (Vera Jordanova) who, unknown to these girls, is hired to bring fresh victims to the secretive and dangerous Elite Hunting Club. One by one, they're captured and set up by the club as prices for winning bidders who wish to slowly slaughter some innocents.

Now, as far as torture porn is concerned, Hostel 2 featured equally nasty set pieces that deliver shrills and spills from every dismembered body parts imaginable, with the nastiest piece being an Elizabeth Bathory-inspired blood bath (literally) where a nude victim, held upside down above an ancient bath, was sliced to ribbons by a scythe-wielding bather. However, looking pass these displays of grue, I do like the fact that there were fewer torture scenes compared to the first, as most of the gore here were done off-camera and gave more emphasis, in exchange, to the world of the Elite Hunting Club itself.

For the first time, we get to see what runs the club and how it had silently taken the world by storm. It's a movie about money and it power over morals, which made Hostel 2 an interestingly thoughtful follow-up as a pseudo-sequel.

The leads are also more likable than the first's; Lauren German and Vera Jordanova both play fine female casts that brought an exotic and more engaging characters that are both fleshed and easy to root in a neatly story driven horror flick. The two 'winners", played by Roger Bart and Richard Burgi, also gave the story contrasting views on what might be going through the club members' sick heads; as winners of a systematized torture show, Todd (Richard Burgi) represents a member whose excitement for his first killings got him blind-sighted on what he's really doing, turning tail and chickening out the moment he realizes he was killing a girl. (An act that cost him his own life) Roger Bart's charcter Stuart, on the other hand, is more unhinged; for the majority of the film, his mouth says No, but once he tasted blood, his hands later say "yes".

The sets are nicer, more advanced compared to the wet and dirty first, as we spend less time on the streets of Bratislava and more in the indoors of Saunas, festivals in small islands and the hostel itself. The torture chambers also improved since, with a wider array of weapons set up for the partakers and bigger rooms with more advanced security system. This sequel knows how to do it bigger and, by so, brought a whole new light to its own mythology.

Hostel 2 is underrated, I'll hand you that; a shame fate for a smart and imaginative sequel for a relatively stale and overrated original. I maybe one of the stepped-on few who will say this but, yes: the head-football ending was a nice touch and Hostel 2 is awesome!

bodycount:
1 male disemboweled (dream)
1 male found headless
1 female sliced repeatedly with scythe, throat cut with sickle
1 boy shot on the head
1 female accidentally scalped with circular saw, presumably killed later
1 male mauled to pieces by dogs
1 male seen being butchered and cannibalized
1 male electrocuted off-camera
1 male bludgeoned with crowbar
1 male castrated with shears
1 female beheaded with battle axe
total: 11

8 comments:

  1. Totally agree! Part 2 is by far better than the first, simply from the way that it opened up the story wider, had more likable characters, and better torture scenes - more stylized, but in a good way.

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    1. glad to be in the same wave, my friend!

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  2. Nice to see that I'm not alone in thinking that Part II is underrated and better than the first.

    - Cody

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  3. Great review, and I totally agree, Kaijinu about all you've said. Not much I can add here since you know my thoughts on it now. :)

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    1. haha! Nice for you to stop by, mate! And yes, Roth had done good with this one!

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  4. I'm honestly looking forward to whatever he does next. More so than anything QT is coming out with.

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    1. heard his doing a feature length based on a short film jokingly credited to thim. I think it's called "Clown"?

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