Hostel: Part II (2007)
Written and directed by Eli Roth
Produced by Eli Roth, Chris Briggs, Mike Fleiss, Gabriel Roth, Daniel Frisch, Philip Waley, Mark Bakunas, Finni Johannsson, Eythor Gudjonsson, Leifur B. Dagfinnsson, Scott Spiegel, Quentin Tarantino, Boaz Yakin
Starring Lauren German, Roger Bart, Heather Matarazzo, Bijou Phillips, Richard Burgi, Vera Jordanova, Jordan Ladd, Milan Knazko, Stanislav Yanevski, Patrik Zigo, Zuzana Geislerová, Jay Hernandez, Monika Malácová, Milda Jedi Havlas, Petr Vancura, Roman Janecka
Pernicious pastimes plague three American students (German, Matarazzo, Phillips) lured by a model (Jordanova) who poses for their Roman art class to a quaint Slovakian village that subsists on the patronage of its soothing hot springs, animated, Autumnal dozynki, and a repurposed, fortified factory where a ring of moneyed sadists and phonomaniacs bid for, rack, and slay auctioned kidnappees. Flight from this organization is nigh-impossible, but negotiation is an option for all visitors with particularly deep pockets.
Script & direction
He was mindlessly criticized for his shrewd refusal to attempt replication of Hostel‘s sustained suspense in a lean script that deals out as much unstanched morbidity and humor black and blue as Roth’s fans expected. His directorial indistinction distracts from neither extremities connoting gallons of blood shed, nor a crucial commercial comment late in the third act that celebrates the sinister and salvational potentialities of lucre in a hypertransactional black market.
Many scenes are blemished by crummy chromatic grading, a metier of defunct Pacific Title & Art Studio that’s all but stipulated in post-production. Where it’s lightly applied, interiors grand and grimy alike are attractively displayed in DP Milan Chadima’s high contrast.
Typecasting is the best casting for many genre flicks, so sluttish party girl and sappy nerd are respectively, fittingly fleshed by trashily pretty Phillips and famously hideous Matarazzo. German undertakes for most of the stingily shared thespian depth as the sensible scion of a familial fortune, as does Bart in the role of a reluctant nebbish accompanying Burgi’s jockish millionaire to participate in their expensively arranged abominations. Cameos are more cleverly cast this time around, as when enduringly gorgeous Edwige Fenech instructs a class of artists, or Ruggero Deodato relishes an anthropophagic atrocity.
Another of Nathan Barr’s worthless, uncreative scores can’t compete with sprightly folk songs performed by Czech ensemble Varmuzova cimbálová muzika, which should’ve been this soundtrack’s primary nondiegetic music.
His stratified peers could learn a lot from the economical, unpretentious approach by which Roth produced his early entertainments. Naturally, they won’t.
Recommended for a double feature after Hostel, or paired with any feature of the Guinea Pig series.