Monday, April 03, 2006


Nudity, sex, drugs, gore and violence. If you're looking for a movie that has all those elements, then look no further than Hostel, which has got them all. Written and directed by Eli Roth, and given the stamp of approval from Quentin Tarantino, this film doesn't shy away from being seen as promoting a decadent lifestyle, and making fun of stereotypical Euros and Yankees, the horny and the stoned, getting their just desserts.

The movie tells the story of three backpackers going around Europe, living from hostel to hostel, indulging in sex and drugs. We meet them in Amsterdam, and accompany them to coffee shops for that high from weed, as well as visiting its famed fish tanks. Didn't know what the interior looked like, until today, from the movie (yeah, what did you think?). And yes, those fish tanks which you see from the movie, are what you get (though you can try whipping out your camera and see what will happen to you :P)

Anyway, our trio are getting bored with the *ahem* taste of Europe, and are seeking something different. They meet up with a pimp who recommends them a Slovakian city to indulge in, where the chicks will do anything, for the right amount of money. Tempted, the trio really made their way there (surely you've learnt enough not to trust strangers, but I guessed they thought with their other head instead), and checked into the Hostel, where it simply is gratuitous nudity galore, with beautiful easy chicks.

So while the first half of the movie focused on them getting their rocks off, the gore and violence didn't arrive until the second half, where one by one, our friends disappear under mysterious circumstances. They get locked up in some strange cell, and get tortured. You begin to wonder exactly what is happening behind closed doors, but I won't spoil it for you. Suffice to say that while it might initially seem like Saw, with its enigmatic psychopath calling the shots, this film offered a more stripped down version to the madness. No elaborate games, just brutal simplicity, picking from available weapons of choice like the scissors, knives, hammers, pliers, scalpel, chainsaw, pistol, you get the drift.

Most of the violence happen off screen - your imagination is left to work what exactly is happening, given cues from the helpless screams, and the mechanics of the tools of death. The gore department isn't stinged upon, and there are enough blood spewing, dripping, flowing to keep the blood lust factor up. But there is one detectable cut in the movie, which I thought didn't really mar the sadistic enjoyment (if I can say this) of the movie.

However, there is a reasonable logical explanation to all these happenings though, and you'll share with the pain of the victims, and wonder in reality, if such an underground thingy perhaps could exist? I mean, why not?

And there's a satisfying ending to this movie too. There are no losers or winners, but the last 15 minutes are filled with so much gore, the squemish will find it hard to tolerate. And without spoiling it for you, I particularly liked two scenes then which involves vehicles. The first one is one that is seldom seen in a movie, while the second one is perhaps as close to the real thing as possible, without me being a witness to the event.

I sound sick, I know. But then, that's what this movie is, Satisfyingly, sick.

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