Certain ingredients are needed to create a good horror film. Good acting, a high-quality setting, and gruesome gore effects are all musts, but two ingredients are more important than any of these. The story must be a creative one. The horror film Saw was a success because it made the audience cringe at its violence and they were stunned by its twisted conclusion.
A good horror film must be at the border of realism and fantasy. Most people are scared by fantasy characters like Dracula, but it is when these characters are easily relatable to our modern lives that they really begin to frighten people.
The season’s latest horror film Hostel had the right ingredients, but the horror chef just couldn’t create a world class product.
Hostel’s storyline has been scaring people for months in previews. Three young men, Paxton (Jay Hernandez), Josh (Derek Richardson) and Oli (Eythor Gudjonsson), are backpacking through Europe. Their trip consists of getting drunk, smoking hash and enjoying a good brothel. Soon their dream trip becomes a nightmare. They meet someone in Amsterdam who encourages them to visit a hostel in Slovakia with beautiful women.
The guys board the next train and head over to this supposedly great place. At the hostel they are paired with two beautiful women as roommates Natalya (Barbara Needeljakova) and Svetlana (Jana Kaderabkova). They begin to party with the girls all night long not knowing that the next morning they will wake up tied to a chair in a room filled with sharp tools and a rich businessman with a fetish for surgery. Can anybody top that night of partying?
At this point, the storyline works. Three guys get lured to a place where wealthy businessmen pay money to live out their ultimate fantasy of torturing a human being.
The problem with the movie is, first, the beginning half is too dry. Viewers have to wait what feels like an eternity to see some blood, and on top of that the ending is just so predictable.
It’s true that movies, in order to be exciting, are often unrealistic. Hostel does have some parts that do a good job of this, but people are tired of seeing an escapee in a movie so conveniently finding a car with the keys left in the ignition.
Hostel has a great cast, an outstanding storyline and lots of blood and gore, but the final product is a B-movie at best.
If you want to see a good horror movie with a great story and exciting twists than see Saw I and Saw II. If you want lots of blood and guts watch a Rob Zombie movie, like House of 1,000 Corpses. If you want to waste 90 minutes of your life on just another mediocre horror flick, then try Hostel.
Dan Cappello can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.