DIRECTOR: Eli Roth
May contain spoiler!
Presented by Quentin Tarantino and directed Eli Roth, Hostel Part II is a surprising horror film. It has to be one of the poster films for the “Horror Porn” genre and indeed, one scene here in which a kidnapped student, Heather Matarazzo is hung by her ankles over a bath, tortured, slashed with a scythe and eventually has her throat cut as a naked woman bathes in her blood, has to be one of then most gruesome scenes of the genre, but there is more to come.
A man being eaten alive, a botched torture attempt leaves another young woman with half of her face missing after an accident with a angle grinder, are but two more such scenes of grotesque violence and sadism. But with all this, there is a self-awareness to the film. A strongly veiled comedic, or black comedy vibe, though, like most other things in this film, it is so drenched in blood that it is hard to see.
This is also an equal opportunity horror film and whilst the tent pole scene is clearly played for a certain amount of titillation, the victims are both male and female, having being supplied by a male and female managed operation to wealthy men and women to be tortured for a hefty fee. This is a much a comment on class than anything else as well a consumerism.
But forget that, this is aimed to be a gruesome horror porn spectacle and it does not fail. I am NOT a fan of horror as such but this was not what I was expecting. I was expecting a bleak, grim and grimy tale of torture but whilst it lives down to though assumptions is also offers more, a theatricality and satire which is not obvious. And as for the scene with the bath; may have been based on a real Hungarian woman known from 16th century known as “Countess Dracula”, (Elizabeth Bathory), who would kidnap and murder young virgin girls and bathe in their blood in the belief that it would rejuvenate her body and extend her life.
So, it could be argued that there is a bit of a history lesson here…. oh, who am I kidding, historically based or not, this film is filled with gruesome horror for one end and one end only. Roth clearly loves horror and this film is drenched in it.