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The Right Snuff?

Film Review

By the end of the film, as a group of European children played soccer with a young woman’s head, there was really nothing left for the audience to do but laugh. This being one of the lesser atrocities committed during "Hostel Part II," by that time in the movie, a game of soccer with a recently dismembered head came across as offensive as a knock, knock joke.

I won’t go into to much detail because this is a family paper but the sequel to Eli Roth’s 2005 "Hostel" takes everything that film was known for and cranks it up to the point of absolutely no return. In the course of the film, this time following three girls who get duped into staying at a hostel where the young American travelers are kidnapped and used as toys for torturous millionaires, there is a literal blood bath, cannibalism, castration, dogs tearing apart a human being, and of course, plenty of blades cutting through skin.

Roth, whose style and talent for capturing the grotesque and scary can’t be argued, doesn’t shy away from anything, to the point where you wonder what a film has to do anymore to pull an NC-17 rating. Classic horror directors have always argued that the most brutal killings should take place off screen to allow the audience to create their own ideas of what happened and be all the scarier. But not Roth; he insists that we watch as the buzz saw enters a young girl’s skull, leaving nothing to the imagination.

Which is great, and "Hostel Part II" does it amazingly, but there is absolutely no point to it here. Sure horror movies are about the gore and blood, but give us the tongue-in-cheek attitude of Freddy or the social commentary of the great zombie movies, even blood for the sake of blood like an Argento film can be fun, but "Hostel Part II" goes beyond this, taking an almost pornographic pleasure in its ability to disturb.

If, like said other horror films, there was something more to "Part II" then it would be far less disturbing, but take away the gore and bloodshed and you’re left with nothing. Beyond a semi-insightful look at what kind of person kills and tortures for pleasure the movie delivers nothing. It isn’t truly scary or suspenseful, there seems to be no moral to the story and if it’s trying to make a social point other than the blatantly obvious one about the inherent evil in all humans that the first film already made, then it doesn’t do a very good job of it.

Other than the clear talents of Eli Roth there isn’t much that elevates "Hostel Part II" higher than a snuff film — completely pointless except to bask in the glory of killing. With a film like this all you can do is laugh at a human head for a soccer ball because it’s too uncomfortable to do anything else.

<1b>— Matthew Razak