Posts Tagged ‘hostel 2’

a review of hostel, brought on by power tools

is that a drill in your pants

We watched Hostel Friday night. Well, we watched most of it. I made Todd turn the channel a couple of times. There were some scenes that bothered me and I tried to put it out of my mind until I looked at this drill on Saturday and thought “man, you could really fuck someone up with that thing.” Which got me thinking – why did Hostel bother me and other horror movies don’t? It has something to do with killing someone outright and taking your time with the killing.

I’m a big fan of horror movies. It’s probably my favorite genre. But I had never seen Hostel up until now. There are a few reasons I put it off; first, today’s crop of horror movies just don’t do it for me. I feel that everything has been done before, nothing scares me, the blood and gore levels have been saturated and there just aren’t any good horror movie directors out there who know how to scare with atmosphere and suspense, and not just tons of slice and dice.

Another reason I put it off is the premise. Which I find interesting, in a navel gazing sort of way. Blood and gore don’t bother me. Multiple killings don’t bother me. Gratuitous death, dismemberment, ritual killings, whatever. I’ve seen it all. But torture. That’s where I draw the line. It’s not because I find it morally reprehensible or anything like that; I’m not really considering my morals when watching horror flicks. It’s the whole aspect of torture that creeps me out. Just waiting to die. Looking at the instruments your torturer has lined up, knowing what’s in store for you or, even worse, not knowing what’s in store for, not knowing how long it will take him to kill you, if he’ll even kill you at all. I can deal with the instant deaths that happen in most horror movies. But slow, drawn out deaths where the person is cognizant of what’s happening to them torments me. It’s why I’ll never watch movies where someone is buried alive.

When Hostel first came out and I saw clips of it and read stories about it, I figured director Eli Roth was doing what he did just to see how far he could push the horror envelope, how far he could take the genre before someone slapped an NC17 on his movie or banned it all together. I thought of Hostel as horror porn, and Eli Roth nothing more than a pornographer.

But given my reaction to the movie – and my desire to actually sit down and watch the whole thing again – Roth did what he set out to do. He expanded on the genre in a way that would get people like me – who think they have seen it all – to watch his movie and realize that no, they have not seen it all. Sure, they have been plenty of movies that dealt with torture – Silence of the Lambs comes to mind – but most of those have been psychological drama that had to do more with the drama of the story than the horror of it. Hostel is different in that it never tries to pass itself off as serious cinema. The plot line, while different, is transparent and ridiculous at times. The dialogue is simple, the acting is nothing spectacular. It’s a typical horror movie – no name actors where plot and script don’t matter as much as the killing.

It’s really like porn in a way. Torture in horror movies was the one thing I never liked, but Roth got me to look at it, just like how there are things I never really cared for during sex that I will look at it if I’m watching porn. Is that a good or bad thing? I’m not sure. I just know that I do want to watch what I missed as well as see Hostel 2.

And I do wonder what you can do to a person with that drill before they would be dead.

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