‘Hostel: Part II’ movie review: Prague-shot torture porn

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Vile torture porn bores us to tears for an hour before giving us what we came for: gory and explicit scenes of young women strung up, tied down, and brutally tortured, mutilated and killed. Lovely!

Virtual remake of the first film replaces male leads with females and calls it a day; three students in Rome are lured to Slovakia by a beautiful woman (?), stay at a cheap hostel, and are kidnapped, tortured, and killed.

Story is fleshed out with ridiculous scenes of the eventual torturers bidding eBay-style for the torture rights and struggling with that ultimate Shakespearian dilemma: to torture beautiful young women, or not to torture beautiful young women.

The leads are entirely unconvincing and mistreated: Heather Matarazzo, forever Dawn Weiner, is embarrassingly humiliated; Laura German is forced through preposterous character changes. Only Bijou Phillips, annoyingly bad, seems deserving of her bloody fate.

Graphic male castration scene towards the end is the icing on the cake (I guess this is supposed to justify the overwhelming violence against women in the rest of the film?), only to be followed by a children´s game of footy with a female severed head.

Gone is the pretext from other ‘torture porn´ like Wolf Creek or the first Hostel, films of questionable content but clear intent that torture the audience along with the characters.

No, here we´re supposed to fully enjoy the gruesome bloodletting and mutilation, distance ourselves from the victims and applaud the effects, and patiently sit through the rest of the film the same way we´d sit through the filler material in softcore porn. Vomit-inducing, for all the wrong reasons.

Charlie Sheen (as the urban legend goes) once turned over one of the Guinea Pig movies to the FBI, thinking it was a snuff film; now similar films flood the multiplexes and gross millions of dollars. What a wonderful world we live in.

Hostel: Part II

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Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky has been writing about the Prague film scene and reviewing films in print and online media since 2005. A member of the Online Film Critics Society, you can also catch his musings on life in Prague at expats.cz and tips on mindfulness sourced from ancient principles at MaArtial.com.

2 Responses

  1. I had the pleasure to participate in the making of Hostel 2 in Prague, and was pretty shocked at some of what went down behind the scenes 🙂 Closing party happened at the former Big Sister brothel in Smichov. Bijou Phillips was a real bully to her castmates and and crewmembers. Despite the subject matter the whole production was pretty easygoing. Fun times but never had the desire to watch the finished film.

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