24 September 2009

6WH: September 24th

Hostel (2005) directed by Eli Roth
A film not meant to be taken seriously. I wasn't expecting that. It's kind of a carnival funhouse version of a torture movie; everything is exaggerated and broad. I can see how it would've been a shocking flick for mainstream American audiences, though. Someone who's never seen a Miike film might consider this picture disturbing (nice cameo by the man himself, by the way). I hate to keep mentioning it, but Borderland was like the serious, more effective version of this flick.

What the hell was up with the score? The movie had a huge, Hollywood blockbuster orchestral score backing it. It sounded completely out of place, kind of like if John Williams had done the music for Texas Chain Saw Massacre. I found it distracting, especially during Paxton's escape. It made him sound like Indiana Jones running from a boulder.

I've got much respect for KNB, but, man, the makeup for the Japanese girl's burned face / pulled out eyeball was just awful. And why did it leak yellow pus when Paxton cut the dangling eyeball off? That doesn't even make anatomical sense, unless she was a deadite?

I thought the film had some great characters in it. I was super-bummed when Icelandic "King of Swing" Oli died so early. Rick Hoffman playing the super-psyched American businessman was hilarious. The Dutch businessman was appropriately creepy.

As an aside, I was kind of hoping Paxton's severed fingers would be becoming a running gag during the last part of the movie. It kind of looked like it was going that way: the cremation guy picks up his fingers from the floor and add them to his box of body parts for burning. This inspires Paxton to kill him with a hammer... unfortunately, he's too late to save his fingers from the fire. In addition to trying to escape the torturers, it might've been amusing if he also had to worry about keeping track of the fingers the whole time. I dunno. I have a black sense of humor sometimes. (7/10)


  1. [comment copied from old blog]

    I remember the shit well of controversy that erupted around this movie. I found that mostly unfounded. The first part was incredibly annoying. I get that this is a movie about asshole Americans going to Europe, acting like asses, and getting their comeupances, but would it have killed Eli Roth to make the characters likable or at least interesting? The torture bit was boring. For what was advertised as a the most disturbing movie ever, it pulled a whole shit load of punches. And the final act was a ridiculous, infantile revenge fantasy. The movie seems to be saying "Violence is awful, kids" for most of it's runtime up until that stupid ending where suddenly it's like, "Yah violence!"

    So, anyway, glad you liked it. I'm not a fan of Miike either so I guess I just wasn't the targent audience.

    Friday, September 25, 2009, 20:38:24

  2. [comment copied from old blog]

    Eli Roth is the Michael Bay for Horror.

    Saturday, September 26, 2009, 02:42:35

  3. [comment copied from old blog]

    I thought it was, in general, fun... nothing I'm going to be adding to my collection, though. I like seeing movies for the first time long after the hype has died. It helps not having that as a distraction. See also: Cloverfield.

    I was mainly impressed at how well Roth navigated American culture with the film. For a horror movie being shown in mainstream cinemas, seen mainly by teenagers, he took it about as far as you can go in our society in 2005. Also, the beats in the film are expertly designed to plug into a male teenager's mind. Hence, the excessive nudity at the beginning and the ridiculous revenge fantasy at the end... I think the man knows exactly what he's doing. I'll re-evaluate after seeing Part II, though.

    Saturday, September 26, 2009, 12:34:48