In this one a trio of women represent Roth's lambs to the slaughter. Beth (Lauren German), Whitney (Bijou Phillips) and Lorna (Heather Matarazzo) are a trio of art students segwayed from a trip to Prague by the gorgeous/friendly Axelle (Vera Jordanova) on the promise of a relaxing weekend at the best spa in Europe. Just as their predecessors, the girls find themselves abucted and prepped as victims for affluent nutjobs that wanna experience the â€˜thrill' of killing someone.
While the main premise of this sequel is the same as the first film, it's execution is completely different. Roth makes a lot of attempts to present this film as a different experience, and for all the furore over his 'excesses' in gore and nudity, Hostel Part 2 will surprise by actually pulling back a little. This is not to say it still doesn't have it's share of bodily parts, either naked and/or eviscerated, but the frequency of it has been reduced and somewhat tamed. Where the real difference comes in is the explanation of how this Slovakian snuff town and it's progenitors actually go about the business of murder-for-hire. And this is where it falls apart. Where in the first film most of this is left to the imagination, the second spells it out in great detail, and effectively renders any suspense attempted throughout the film a mute point.
We already know what is going to happen to these girls because it's a sequel, and by spelling out the half we don't know, this whole story quickly becomes a follow the numbers bore fest instead of a gore fest. Roth's attempt to make us fear the fact that these snuff customers are regular suburban folks fails because there are too many of them, all insufficiently developed, and ultimately given one-note wonder pyschologies to explain why they're there. Where he really slips up, though, is in the three main girls, who may as well have had monikered t-shirts that read: Hero; Nerd; Slut respectively. The character of Beth, without giving away anything, also becomes a collosal disappointment, being as morally bankrupt as the people she is trying to escape from.
What hasn't failed is the usual buckets of blood, atmospheric production design, and Roth's trademark desire to go to places most people won't. But he's done this part of the equation twice before, and while some of the deaths are inventive and disturbing, already knowing the world we've entered dulls their effect each time we see it. Nothing wrong with it per se, but nothing new there either.
The pacing is not great, with far too much time dedicated to the inner-machinations of the 'Elite Hunting Group,' the girls getting to the village, cameos from some of Roth's favourite actors and directors, and not enough on moments of tension, some sense of awareness from our heroines, and the ending - which is abrupt and unsatisfying.
'You can't win them all,' as they say, and unfortunately, while Roth does deliver a surprising follow up to his hit, it's not a fulfilling one.
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
Subtitles: English; French; Spanish; Closed Captioned
Language and Sound: English: English: Dolby Digital 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access.
* Commentary -3
o 1- The Producers Track with Eli Roth, Executive Producer Quentin Tarantino, and Gabriel Roth
o 2- The Actors Track with Eli Roth, German, Vera "Axelle" Jordanova, and Richard "Todd" Burgi
o 3 - The Directors Track with Eli Roth
o Behind-the-Scenes featurette
o KNB's terrific make-up and special effects work
* Deleted Scenes
* Radio Interview
* Gag Reel
* International Television Special: Hostel Part II: A Legacy of Torture
Number of Discs: 1 with Keepcase Packaging
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