Backpackers (Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson) find that their decision to stay at a Slovakian hostel is a gruesome mistake.
" Even after an outre punch line is revealed, the film is neither shocking nor adequately terrifying. "
" It's a clip reel of sicko tableaus. The torture scenes are inventively disgusting, but the narrative linking one murder to the next is sketchy. "
" Let's hope 2006's first horror film isn't an indication of where the genre is going this year. "
" Roth doesn't know when to leave well enough alone. Piling the gore on without benefit of artful tension, the film ends up approaching parody. "
" Sadly, as with [director Eli] Roth's promising but flawed debut feature, its central conceit is more compelling than what ended up on screen. "
" The calculated outrages of Eli Roth's brutal exploitation film prove less shocking that its relentless bigotry. "
" The film is too casually misanthropic and enamored of its expulsive prosthetic virtuosity to be politically relevant, and it's not clear what response -- shame? outrage? titillation? -- Roth is after. "
" The thing is just a clunky and tasteless and dumb scare picture, isn't it? Clunky, yes. Tasteless, for sure. But not so dumb I fear. "
" Although he damn near slanders an entire country - - expect poor Slovakia's tourism industry to take a hit - - Roth is not an unskilled ringleader of gory crisis moments, or breathless escapes. "
" Eli Roth turns to modern-day Asian fright filmmakers as inspiration for his latest blood-soaked effort while demonstrating an intriguing, original voice of his own. "
" Hostel is a screaming good time, marred only by a lazy ending. "
" Portrayed the way Transylvania was in a 1930s vampire film, with lascivious beauties intent on seducing and drugging their unwitting American dates so they can be fed into the machinery of recreational death. "
" Roth, by presenting his characters as victims of the same world of flesh-for-fantasy they were grooving on in the first place, digs deep into the nightmare of a society ruled by the profit of illicit desire. "
" The tone is too schizophrenic for the movie to be great, but writer/director Eli Roth is showing serious potential. "
" Whether or not this kind of horror movie is your cup of tea, you have to at least admire Roth for the daring and creativity with which he illustrates that concept. "
" [The film] willfully takes us someplace cruel -- and deeply unfunny. Just because that's Roth's intention doesn't mean his movie is any good. "
" All this in a 94-minute movie that takes 45 minutes getting started! "
" Although I spent much of the second half staring into my lap while listening to a cacophony of screams and shop tools, I processed enough of the first to appreciate Roth's sinister evocation of a Slovakian provincial town. "
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