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This is a quasi-review that I posted on another forum, but figured I'd post it here to let you fine people read it as well.
IMDB link, for those interested.
Warning: I will do my best to avoid spoilers, but some minor ones will inevitably creep in. You have been warned.
Short: Unless your stomach is REALLY STRONG and you really, really like gore and porn movies - yes, I said porn - do NOT go see this movie.
Long: Content-wise, this movie is a VERY strong R. Honestly, I was surprised it got in underneath that rating - I can only imagine what the "unrated" version is going to have in it.
Basically, you start off with these guys backpacking across Europe, having a blast, getting high (it's legal there, in some places [the movie centers on Amsterdam, or the Netherlands for those who know it by that name]). And of course, they're seeing the sights. No, not talking about castles and museums - talking about girls without their clothes on. LOTS of girls without their clothes on. Hell, for the first half hour I was halfway thinking I had the wrong theater - surely I walked into the XXX video store, rather than the local Tinseltown. Then I realized that the dialog and story was somewhat more plausible (not by a great deal, mind you), so that helped reassure me ;).
That lasts the first half or so of the movie (a little less). Now don't get me wrong - the female body is a beautiful thing, and sex is beautiful too. For me, sex in "regular" movies is fine, so long as it's done with some amount of taste [which is more an ethereal concept rather than a static definition]. But the amount and duration was too over-the-top. And I realize this is Quentin Tarantino, Mr. Over The Top himself, but still... If I wanted to see *that*, I would download it from any number of "18-and-over" websites. (A friend pointed out that Tarantino didn't actually do the movie; he just saw promise and funded its production.)
The violence you see (to a very, VERY small degree) on the commercials is over-the-top, as well. You have people losing digits - one poor bastard gets some of his fingers cut off by a chainsaw, while another has his shoulders [I think] drilled by a Drimmel and his Achilles' tendons cut. While they cut away quite a bit, only showing you the faces of the victims as they emit agonizing screams, they don't leave a whole lot to the imagination.
Also, for those that care about such things, there is a LOT of language in there, mainly the F word and slang references to the female genitals.
As far as the storyline, I will give Mr. Eli Roth props for making a somewhat interesting story. Nothing particularly of note, but decent nonetheless. If he had spent more time on the suspense and less on the sex and gore, it might have turned out alright.
I went into the movie comparing it with Saw (which I loved). The reason I liked Saw was that while the gore was there in large amounts, the suspense was there as well. The ending for the movie clenched it for me - if you've gotten absorbed into the movie (which I did successfully), then you don't really see it coming until the end. However, Hostel didn't take a page from Saw's playbook, and instead overemphasized the blood, guts, sex, and gore, rather than letting the storytelling do its work.
All in all - don't waste your time. Rent Saw for the gore and suspense, and go to your X-Rated websites and video stores for the sex.
Quirky note: when we went and saw it, I was surprised at the number of couples I (think I) saw there. Must seem like a good date movie or something - get to either spook or console / protect your girlfriend through the spooky scenes. And if the couple gets turned on during the first part, all the better :).
I'll see your two cents, and raise you a dollar... :)
I'm gonna post a similar reply to the one that I gave your other post. I want to see what people think.
First . . . it took an ungodly amount of editing to get this movie to beneath the R rating, and it only holds this ratings by a second's worth of content.
Second . . . I have a VERY strong stomach and cannot imagine ever wanting to watch this on video or any other format. Torture for the sake of torture is disgusting. If you want that sort of thing, go download a movie of Iraqi insurgents beheading American prisoners (yes they are out there, and yes they are real).
As far as the language goes. Here's a breakdown.
F-words (or derivatives): 94
Sexual References: 20
S-words (or derivatives): 23
Anatomical Terms: 10
Mild Obscenities: 6
Derogatory Term for Homosexuals: 1
Religious Profanity: 1
Religious Exclamations: 10
Does that strike anyone as just a little much?
oh, and if anyone ever wants a good rating system (warning: graphic descriptions are involved) check out http://www.kids-in-mind.com