Hostel is a Sado-horror chiller directed by Eli "Cabin Fever" Roth and executive produced by gore aficionado Quentin Tarantino.

It’s the usual horror fest story; College jocks Paxton (Hernandez) and Josh (Richardson) team up with wacky Icelander Oli (Gudjonsson) for a drug fuelled European road trip that ends up in Slovakia, where the booze is cheap and the chicks all look like underwear models.

Sounds too good to be true? That's because it is. Crushed skulls, severed Achilles tendons and sliced eyeballs all await our unsuspecting explorers in what Roth has billed as the "sickest film ever made".

Part of the new "Horror Porn" movement, that replaces nudity (although there's a fair bit of that too) with grotesque violence, "Hostel" joins a gruesome list of recent releases that include "Saw", "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "The Hills Have Eyes".

But, sadly, "Hostel" fails to really scare the audience due to it's ridiculous first half that plays out more like a soft porn movie with terrible dialogue and dodgy acting - from Gudjonsson in particular.

This clunky set up destroys any sense on reality and leaves the viewer chuckling at the most inappropriate moments, which is a shame as the final plot twist should have made this a cult classic.

Roth already has a reputation for being a loud mouth with a manic lust for self promotion, and as soon as you enter the special feature menu you can see why.

The not so shy and retiring director takes part in an astounding four – yes, four - commentaries. As well as his own talk track, Roth is joined by the cast, executive producer Quentin Tarantino, and internet geek Harry Knowles (who discovered the online murder site that inspired the movie) for hours of mainly inane banter about the picture.

Elsewhere there is a charmless, hour long, behind the scenes featurette called “Hotel Dissected”, that shows Roth taking a dump in a Czech toilet, topless actresses jumping around like maniacs and plenty of special effects gore.

Finally there’s an interactive feature showing a bunch of kids smashing up a car – in a scene taken from near the end of the movie. You can switch between three cameras to get a better view of the automotive carnage – if you’ve got nothing better to do that is.

Price when reviewed:

The principle aim of this new wave is to see exactly how far the boundaries of taste can be pushed and Roth gives it a fairly decent crack here with a collection of increasingly revolting torture sequences that culminate in a spot of amateur eye surgery with a blow torch.

However, like most real life hostels, this film isn't anywhere near as impressive as the brochure made out.

Rating: 18
Staring: Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson, Eythor Gudjonsson, Barbara Nedeljakova, Jan Vlasák, Jana Kaderabkova
Directed by: Eli Roth
Extras: Audio commentary from director Eli Roth, Audio commentary from Eli Roth and executive producer Quentin Tarantino, Director and producers' audio commentary, Director and guests' audio commentary, 'Hotel Dissected': a behind the scenes featurette, 'Kill The Car!' interactive feature

Sections TV