In addition to my personal 31 Days of Horror (movie marathon) I am part of a 31 Days of Halloween (horror movie review series) with my job at MOVIECLIPS. Each day during the month of October we are going to post a two-man conversation/review of a different horror movie. Yours truly will be featured in a few of these. To start things off we have Andrew and Ryan discussing Eli Roth's breakthrough hit Hostel:
(Curator's Note: On the horror reviews I did not sit in on I am going to be offering "My Take" if I have seen the film in question.)
My Take: I saw Hostel in theaters back in 2005 and it affected me terribly and greatly. I was particularly drawn in by Quentin Tarantino's involvement (as executive producer) but not really aware what I was about to get myself into. This was easily the most extreme film I had ever gotten in to see in a theater. To this day I think the twisted plot of Hostel is genius: an underground business that allow their high-paying clients to torture a human specimen of their choice. Of course, we only find about this later after our unsuspecting touring protagonists end up being on the clientele's menu. The young men are lured into this trap by Siren-esque women and drugs, almost as if a punishment for their immorality. As a teenager it was more than a cautionary tale of why to never go backpacking in Slovack countries or come close to entering any hostels. The film raised the bar of the "torture porn" movement (sub-genre of the slasher film which is a sub-genre of the greater horror film) after the likes of James Wan's Saw, at least for American audiences at large. Amazingly it still pales compared to Takashi Miike and friends. To demonstrate its allegiance to our country and our sensibilities the film is not over before it relinquishes itself as a revenge picture, something we could climb aboard and cheer about if we hadn't left the theater already due to the content on display. For me Hostel became a badge of shame and later a badge of honor. It was something I survived. It's not something I'm keen to revisit, nor its sequels for that matter, but it's concept and unforgettable scenes (literally one after another almost a decade later) prove it's worth among extreme contemporary horror.