Like a lot of sequels, Hostel Part II is heavier on backstory than its predecessor. In the second installment, the viewer gets more info on the corporation that is pulling the strings. And there is a bit more insight given into the motivations of the clientele of said corporation.
Part II picks up right after the first film left off. We get an update on Paxton, the survivor of the first flick, and then catch up with a trio of female American travelers who are touring Europe. The girls are lured to a familiar Slovakian hostel with the promise of a tranquil spa that will allow them to relax and reenergize. Like in the first film, the ladies find themselves in the clutches of a nefarious organization that provides patrons with the opportunity to torture and kill for sport.
We don’t know a great deal about the ladies’ history or what brought them together. But in spite of limited backstory, the leads are much more relatable than their male counterparts in the first film.
Eli Roth wrote and directed this follow up to his 2006 blood-filled torture spree. And there is some evidence of his growth as a filmmaker between the two films. Though Hostel Part II is a shamelessly gory follow up, it shows maturation in the way the story is told. The decision to focus slightly more on what is motivating the patrons of the organization rather than solely on the violence and gay jokes was a smart decision and that elevates this film to an ever so slightly more intelligent place than the first. But, not every aspect of the film shows growth over its predecessor.
While Hostel Part II is less focused on gay jokes and bro-ing down, it isn’t without its issues. The scene where Heather Matarazzo is tortured is among the most sadistic sequences I’ve ever seen committed to film and it goes far beyond anything her male counterparts in the first installment endured. I’m not certain that this was the director’s intent but the entire sequence comes across as unduly mean spirited and spiteful.
Additionally, Roger Bart and Richard Burgi who travel to the hostel for the sake of committing murder for sport are developed every bit as much as (if not more) than their intended victims, which sends a murky message at best and a startling one at worst.
All in, there are some legitimate moments of sustained tension in Hostel II. I just wish Roth came across as more considerate in his treatment of women and the LGBTQ community in his filmic endeavors.
Director(s): Eli Roth
Writer(s): Eli Roth
Stars: Laura German, Bijou Phillips, Heather Matarazzo, Roger Bart, Richard Burgi
Studio/ Production Co: LionsGate
Budget: $10.2 Million
Length: 94 Minutes