WEIRDO’WEEN #02: HOSTEL Part II [2007]

You know, one thing I have always wanted to do is travel to different parts of the world. I’ve always been attracted to the idea of going cities/towns that aren’t familiar to me, and the idea of disappearing into a crowd – and getting the chance to be completely unrecognizable to those around me – is pretty damn awesome. I’d love to go somewhere that has a different meal plan than my own, and getting to try all sorts of things that I wouldn’t be able to try otherwise; even ideas like being shoved into a bullet-train in Japan, or taking a ride one of those boat things in Prague during the sunset sounds so exciting, and so different.. But you know what’s not awesome? [but certainly “different”] Being convinced to go somewhere you don’t know just because some hot European woman told you to, being kidnapped and tied up, and ultimately; torturedslowly. At least, that’s what happens to Beth, Whitney, and Lorna in today’s weirdo’ween edition of Hostel: Part II. I’m going to warn you now, this particular review is long.. like a lot longer than my usual reviews. If you can handle a lot of reading. Let’s move on!

I actually really like Hostel – at least, the first two films – for their story telling. [we don’t talk about Hostel: Part III] I feel like they’re more than torture-porn, – which they get a lot of flack for – I like their story telling, the explanation that the real monsters are the ordinary/everyday people around us. To me, that is scary and knowing that being in an unfamiliar place; anything can happen. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed Hostel, but I’ve always preferred it’s sequel, Hostel: Part II, just a little bit more. Probably because we get more of a back story to how the Elite Hunting Club really works.

weird'oween-#2The film opens up with the lone survivor of the first Hostel film, Paxton, in a hospital being “treated” for his wounds that happened roughly a week before. While in the hospital, the Doctors are all asking questions involving the ones who “did this to him”. As he’s answering the questions as truthfully as he can remember, he starts noticing them whispering to one another, and he starts questioning if these “doctors” are truly the good people they come off as. Good thing Paxton seems to be good at reading people, cause when he mentions the tattoo that the Elite Hunting Club members all had, the head doctor rolls up his sleeve asking; Did it look like this? Paxton wakes up, and it was all a dream – but it’s seemingly obvious that he’s mentally disturbed from the whole thing. His girlfriend, Stephanietries to convince him to talk to someone but he won’t have any of it, explaining that “these people are tied into everybody“. The very next morning Stephanie wakes up to an empty bed [Paxton stayed awake after his nightmare, I guess?] only to discover his headless body seated at the kitchen table with their cat licking the blood from his neck.. [talk about ‘no strings left untied’!] Meanwhile, in Slovakia, a seemingly mysterious package is delivered to Sasha, who we learn is the head honcho of the Elite Hunting Club. From the reaction of Sasha‘s bloodhounds and the approximate size of the box, it’s pretty well assumed that this package had Paxton‘s head in it, which would explain why it wasn’t rolling on the floor or anything in his home.

We are then flash forwarded to Italy, where American art students Beth, Whitney, and Lorna are approached by the beautiful Axelle, a nude model they are sketching during what looks like an outdoor, free to join-like class, to join her on a vacation to a luxurious spa in Slovakia. The four decide travel by train to a small Slovakian village and check into the local hostel, [which, if you’ve seen the first film, it’s the exact same one] where the desk clerk [the same, creepy clerk from the previous film] takes their information for their night, and the girls go to their respective rooms. It’s only after they’re out of camera shot, that the desk clerk goes to a restricted area of the Hostel, and uploads their passport photos to an auction website, where it’s we see American businessman Todd bid on Whitney and Beth for himself and his passive best friend Stuart as their victims for their murder-vacation. I found this to be extremely important, because it shows us that there’s so much more to what we saw in Hostel – in Hostel: Part II, we see how the “bets” are placed, and how the information gets there..

Later that night, at the village’s “Harvest Festival”, Lorna learns that Beth has inherited a vast fortune from her mother, who died when she was young. Stuart approaches Beth and the two share a friendly, but awkward, conversation. An intoxicated Lorna leaves to go on a boat ride with her new friend Roman, a charismatic local, who ends up using her only to kidnap her with the help of two accomplices. A local of the village is seen walking up to Beth and asks her for a dance, which she declines. He responds with I could have helped you. Although Beth doesn’t understand, he walks away and afterward the creepy Hostel’s clerk from earlier approaches and tells her He won’t bother you anymore. Eventually, Beth and Whitney leave the party, meanwhile Axelle volunteers to stay behind and wait for Lorna to get back from her boat ride.

The next morning after waking up, the three girls [Lorna is still not back] decide to head to the spa to relax in the hot springs. Basking in the relaxing atmosphere, Beth is able to fall somewhat at ease [finally!] and dozes off, leaning against the side of the pool. Flash to a now naked and gagged Lorna is seen shackled by her ankles and hanging upside down in a large – and empty – room, where a woman named [but implied] Mrs. Bathory enters, promptly undresses herself, and lies just beneath where Lorna is hanging. She then slowly kills Lorna by slashing her several times with a long scythe and bathing in her blood, then ending it by slitting her throat with a sickle!

Back at the spa, Beth finally awakens, only to find herself alone. [and her belongings stolen] As she looks for her friends, she notices two or three men approaching her. Fearing for her life, she climbs over the walls of the spa enclosure. Making her escape, she is ambushed by The Bubblegum Gang, the same gang of violent street children that appeared in Hostel. [so many throwbacks to the first film, I love it!] Before they are able to attack her though, Axelle and Sasha casually appear and ward them off. Axelle escorts a flustered but now relieved Beth to the vehicle they drove over in. With Axelle and Beth now off screen, Sasha confronts the children.. He comes off as extremely angered, since they “got in the way” of his “business operations.” Wait, what? As punishment, and to warn against future “interruptions”, Sasha draws out his gun and has one of the children brought forward before him. Sasha then puts a silencer on the handgun and kills the kid. Naturally, the rest of the gang runs! After arriving at Sasha‘s mansion, Beth slowly comes to realize that Sasha and Axelle are the ones responsible for her friends’ disappearances. This became obvious after noticing the men who tried to kidnap her at the spa coming up the stairs of Sasha‘s home. Like anyone in a situation like this, she tries to hide only to discover a room filled with severed heads [including Paxton‘s] only to be captured and taken to the factory.

Overall, the movie is fun. Especially if you’re a fan of Eli Roth. It’s much more than the first movie in terms of story, especially as we learn more and more about the Elite Hunting Club. There’s plenty of gore for the gorehounds [bloodhounds?] and the story is enough to keep you interested. In my opinion though, the ending of the movie is probably one of the best parts of it. I know this review has been really long, but bear with me for this last part. If it’s not already obvious, this is going to spoil the movie’s end:

Beth offers to buy her freedom with part of her large inheritance, except Sasha explains to her that she must kill somebody to leave, Beth [without a second thought] cuts off Stuart‘s balls and tosses them to one of the guard dogs; in that moment, Beth then orders Stuart to be left to bleed to death as he screams in pain. As per the standard Elite Hunting contract, Beth is given an Elite Hunting tattoo and is made an honorary member. Beth is told she is allowed to leave, but she is sternly ordered to keep silent about the organization for the rest of her life. In the final sequence, Axelle is lured from the village festival into the woods by The Bubblegum Gang, where the revenge-seeking Beth surprises and beheads her for leading her friends to their deaths. The film then ends on a shot of Axelle‘s decapitated body with The Bubblegum Gang dancing in the background and playing soccer with Axelle‘s severed head..

In summation, I really enjoyed Hostel: Part II [if you couldn’t already tell] – if not more so than Hostel. It’s gory, it’s violent, and it’s more than shock/torture porn. Sure, it has faults; but what movie these days doesn’t? Eli Roth created a world that makes viewers scared to leave the comfort of their own homes, because sometimes, the real monster is the guy [or girl] next door.

Then I turn to you. Have I convinced you to check out Hostel: Part II? If you already have seen it, what did you think about it? Worthwhile? Or completely a waste of time? Let me know in a comment or two! Also, even if I have the first few film reviews planned already, please let me know which movie[s] you want to see reviewed next! If you found yourself to enjoy review – and want to see more – then take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 120+ likes almost at 130!] By clicking that “like” button, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted online; as well as links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share The Facebook Page with your family and friends! Join me tomorrow when I post weirdo’ween #03STAY TUNED!

POP! goes the..head?


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