Hostel is why I won’t totally write off horror movies released in January. Screen Gems/Lionsgate seemingly kicked it into theater as an afterthought. Little did they know that Eli Roth managed to tap into the West’s natural fear of the foreign landscapes that they ignore. It’s not Eastern Europe hid a murder-for-profit club that catered to the world’s elite. The kicker is that no one regardless of their background was safe from attack.
If the series would have stopped at II, it would have been a perfect duology. But, studios love keeping horror trains going past their logical conclusions. Hostel Part II does its best when it leans into the violence. The Elite Hunting Club exists in its ability to minimize humans to less than animals. By placing value on class, money and predatory nature…the Hostel movies are hair away from being transcendent experiences.
More than anything, Jay Hernandez dying in the opening of Part II ends up being what helps define and up-end the series. Anyone can die, but where is the prolonged terror? At a point, it becomes a giant game to see who has what it takes to sneak away or tweak the Hunters’ rules.