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Hostel (R)

Release Date: January 6th, 2006 by Lions Gate Films.
The Cast: Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson, Eythor Gudjonsson, Barbara Nedeljakova, Jana Kaderabkova.
Directed by Eli Roth.

BASIC PREMISE: Josh (Richardson) and Paxton (Hernandez), two college friends, travel to a Slovakian hostel to have sex and encounter pure evil beyond their imagination.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: The opening credits of Hostel foreshadow the true horror that arrive in the second act. Before then, everything is relatively calm as Josh and Paxton follow Oli, their new European horny friend, to Slovakia where they all hope to drink and have sex with loose women. This rather lengthy first act has plenty of nudity and even some comedy, but with non-stop fun. Paxton, a virgin, could really use this sexual fun. Not surprisingly, Josh and Paxton both appear to be gullible airhead, which is precisely what makes them vulnerable to the evil that awaits them. The question is how soon will their fun be over? Writer/director Eli Roth occasionally teases you with few fake scares to remind you that the horror is right around the corner. The evil finally comes after about forty-five minutes of getting to know the horny Americans as they hook up with Slovakian women. The excessive gore along with the dingy, dilapidated locations makes for an excruciatingly terrifying second act filled with relentless torture and sadism. Even if you close your eyes, you canít escape the horror because of the equally terrifying soundtrack. Paxton immediately recognizes who the identity of the killer, but that information doesnít even come close to help him escape. The third act will surprise and thrill you as the killer picks on Josh, who suddenly shows his smart, rebellious side. By the end of Hostel , you feel like youíve just seen the most relentlessly squeamish horror film in recent memory.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: None is required or desired. However, in one scene, Paxton asks the killer a question that every horror victim wonders, but rarely says out loud: What did I ever do to you? Not that he killer answers anything insightful, but it hints at the fact that Eli Roth has watched many horror films. Itís interesting to catch all of the references to other films, such as The Silence of the Lambs , Audition , Ichi the Killer , and Saw .

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None, as long as you suspend your disbelief.


THE BOTTOM LINE: Incredibly terrifying and well-crafted! An instant horror-classic!

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)

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