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Hostel 2/ 2007/ Eli Roth/ Gory Horror Plot: 3 girls take a trip to Slovakia and they stay in a hostel whilst they’re there. The 3 girls get kidnapped and are tortured to death. One of the girls is lucky enough to escape as she fights back, killing her torturer in a cool, unusual twist. Which 2 scenes impressed you the most?


The first scene that impressed me the most was the bath scene. One of the kidnapped girls is hung up above a bath naked, and skinned alive. The reason why this scene impressed me so much is by the use of restricted narration. The whole time the girl is skinned alive, we cannot see anything but a close-up reaction of the girl, showing she is clearly in a lot of pain. The sound effects were very cleverly done, as they made the whole scene look and feel so real that it gave me shivers. Another reason why I like this scene a lot is because of how it uses the ‘Male Gaze Theory’, written by Laura Mulvey. The naked girl hanging above the bath gave sexual pleasure to her torturer, and possibly men watching the film. She is extremely vulnerable, which pleases the male-dominated cultural dominant ideology and the overwhelming amounts of male producers and directors. For example, Eli Roth, who (looking at other movies he’s directed) uses the Male Gaze Theory religiously. The other scene that impressed me so much was the torture scene at the end of the film when one of the girls escapes. This scene uses parallel music extremely well, which made me feel very on edge and uncomfortable. The mixture of low-key lighting, creepy location and quick montage shots gave the scene lots of suspense. Then when the girl finally fights back, she changes from being a stereotypical female victim, to being a final girl which was a very unique and cool twist to the film. How has watching this film helped you understand this genre of filmmaking? Watching this film, I spotted loads of different features on the genre checklist from things like body horror, to parallel music. Because this is a gory horror, there was a lot of body horror like open wounds, blood, dog attacks and much more. I done some research on the body horror in Hostel 2 and found out that most of the gore you can see is not done through CGI effects, but is manmade. The restricted narration in this film is also


done really well, for example, in the bath scene where the girl is being skinned alive by a scythe, you cannot see her body or the scythe cutting the skin, but because of the fake blood, sound effects and the girl’s reactions, it makes the audience shudder. A lot of this film was shot in a creepy location using low key lighting which spooks the audience out, without having any body horror on screen. The parallel music which is used goes very well with the film. When we see one of the girls being chased by the kidnapper out of a swimming pool, suspicious music is played which makes the heart beat faster putting the audience on edge. Because this is a horror movie, there were a lot of close ups to see the characters reactions to different things, for example there were loads in the bath scene, to show the girls reaction as she was being tortured. Quick montages were used to build suspense along with the parallel music, especially when the girl was being chased out of the swimming pool. The last feature I noticed was misogyny. All of the torture scenes included this due to the fact all the people being tortured were female and they were tortured by males. This could also represent the male gaze theory due to the fact that the girls were very vulnerable and were being looked at by male torturers. Which aspects of the film would you like to include in your own trailer? I loved all the restricted narration in this film, and I’d love to include some in my trailer, especially if it was as good as in the film. The audience was able to tell exactly what was going on whilst only seeing a little bit of body horror. I think it is very important to have either a creepy location or low key lighting in a horror film, as it really sets the scene very well and makes the audience feel very spooked out. Most horror films that I have watched include both of these things so I’d love to be able to include these in my own trailer, especially if it looks as good as it does in Hostel 2. Which aspects of the film would you like to avoid in your own trailer?


The horror trailer I am making is going to be a psychological one so I want to try and steer clear of using body gore. I wouldn’t mind the odd bit of fake blood to add detail but I find the use of too much body horror a bit uncomfortable and I don’t think I would feel too happy filming a trailer that is predominantly made up of body horror. I also want to stay away from using a female victim. In my trailer I’d like to bend stereotypes like George Romero does as I believe all of the better horror films out there don’t stick to stereotypes. For example, the character named Lorna screams a lot whilst being tortured (which is understandable) but I think it was a bit too much and unrealistic. A young, American girl wouldn’t go out by herself in a foreign country. What was the more enjoyable moment in the film? The main thing I enjoyed the most was how one of the female victims, Whitney, fought back when she was in the torture dungeon and managed to escape and kill her torturer at the same time. This was the best twist in the film as it wasn’t expected. Whitney was just a stereotypical female victim but she quickly turns into a psycho killer. I’m not sure if I will be able to recreate this exactly but I would love to have a big twist in my trailer. The only problem is, because it’s a trailer I can’t give too much information away so I’m not sure if I could include a big twist or not. How does the film show the influence of its ‘auteur’ director?


One thing I’ve noticed about films directed by Eli Roth is that he uses a lot of creepy locations to set the mood of the film without anything actually happening. For example, in Hostel 1, he uses a very similar set up to Hostel 2. Both films are set in a foreign country and all the characters are staying in a dingy hostel that looks quite suspicious. The torture scenes were all done in what looks like an underground mental asylum. Roth’s film ‘Cabin Fever’ is also set in a mysterious location and you can tell that this is definitely one of Roth’s auteur styles. He is very influenced by ‘Giallo’ films. These are Italian crime/horror films that mix sex and violence in vivid detail and he bases a lot of his films around these. For example, Roth’s film ‘The Green Inferno’ is based on cannibal Italian horrors like ‘Cannibal Holocaust’. You could even say that this is another one of Roth’s auteur styles as most of his films do include a lot of violence and sexual activity. The Characters Roth uses in his films seem to be mentally damaged. For example, the torturer characters in both Hostels seem to be very unusual, power obsessive and perverse. This is the same in Cabin Fever when the local people act very homicidal. The body horror in Roth’s films is a bit over the top. He doesn’t just use a little bit of fake blood and a small wound, but he goes that step further and in the Hostels he has people’s faces ripped off, eye balls burnt out and testicles cut off. Again this is the same in his other movies, for example in Cabin Fever someone is skinned alive, backing up my point of Roth’s auteur theory. Finally, in most of Roth’s films, there is some kind of sexual activity, whether it be someone getting pleasure from seeing another person naked and inflicting pain on them, or there is actually two people having sexual


intercourse in one of the scenes, Roth likes to show the audience how powerful the representation of sexual activity can be within a horror film. Because he is so influenced by Giallo films (which include a lot of sexual activity), Roth decided to portray this by including it in his own films, making this another one of his auteur styles.

Hostel 2  

Hostel 2 Film Review

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