All of this is a bit of a shame because the story is actually pretty neat. Two American backpackers are travelling through Europe with an Icelander they just met. Their two main preoccupations are getting laid and getting high. A dodgy Dutch pimp recommends a hostel near Bratislava where there are willing chicks on-tap thanks to the fact that all the guys in Slovakia are away at war (huh?). So they go to the hostel, get laid, get high and then bad things involving torture chambers start to happen. For me, the problem is in the execution. Eli Roth just completely failed to build up any tension, or any sense of threat to the key protagonist. That's not to say that the movie is a complete waste of time. Certainly some of the early scenes have a degree of comedy value, not least when they feature Eythor Gudjonsson as Oli the Icelander a.k.a The King of Swing. Rick Hoffman also has a hillarious cameo as a sinister, hyper-active Yuppie in search of gothic kicks. However, any movie wherein a bunch of bumble-gum chewing eight-year olds with koshes are the key menace, is not to be taken seriously.
HOSTEL is on release in the US, UK and France. It hits Germany and Austria on April 27th 2006.