April 24, 2006

HOSTEL (UNRATED WIDESCREEN CUT)
Eli Roth, USA 2005

5.5
oh no!! i was so ready for "back-to-basics (...) no-frills nastiness". i sure had my hopes up for this one. and i felt so secure about it too; i wasn't even question it all this time. this was an unrelenting, merciless little ride and i'd love it. oh well. sometimes you're wrong. (oh so terribly wrong *shakes head*.) i should've remembered the horribly clichéd Cabin Fever. damn denial (the trailers looked like the real thing. and look at that poster!! how can that transform into this??). things were just awful from the beginning as Mr Roth sees fit to introduce us to a bunch of arrogant American tourists (with an Icelandic farce tagging along) right out of an American Pie movie as our leads. scratch that - American Pie had great, human characters going for it. let's say, imagine the fantasy world of an American Pie-type movie then put it at the front of a horror movie for half its running time. it plays like a plastic version of real life. you can also add up Milan Chadima's horrible cinematography (shot like a studio lot film) and Nathan Barr's inappropriatly domineering score as to what made this a frustrating film experience. there was just way to get into it. the cheesy settings, the lame characters? horrible, horrible, horrible. or maybe it was made for 14 year olds. the first hour sure would make more sense. i was angry at Eli Roth for this. stupid, fake, stereotypical characterizations and artificial performances (Jay Hernandez's ease is our lead character's only saving grace) made this a harduous viewing. seriously. i haven't been let down like this in a long time. Eli Roth, it is now painfully obvious, just cannot write a screenplay to support his style, nor can he even direct something downright nasty with enough realism for us to fall for. the only grit that appeared on-screen were the KNB special effects (and even those had their laughable moments), and some downright nasty cinematography, i will give 'em that. and the way Roth got us into the disturbing puzzle was smart as hell, i'll give him props for that. once it hits, they did get a lot of the gritty and gory feel right, though, but that's all in the third act; everything else before it was so clichéd, predictable, and incredibly lame that it's now a matter of observing it rather than experiencing it with the characters. i just could not recommend this film. it's bad. but i know some folks did go for it, and good for them if they found themselves entertained. i just wasn't terrified or exhilarated in any way, shape, or form. this is simply an incredibly dumb copy of the fabulous Saw films. Eli Roth is the Michael Bay of small budget horror movies. i just could not put it in clearer terms.

Posted by Sam | 1:02 AM |