Plot: Beth (Lauren German) is in Rome, studying art and just soaking in the culture, joined by her friends Whitney (Bijou Phillips) and Lorna (Heather Matarazzo). All three young women have just finished a figure drawing lesson, when the model, Axelle (Vera Jordanova) approaches Beth. She asks to see the drawing and loves it, then tells Beth and her friends about a place where they can experience some real culture. Tired of fending off horny locals, the three travel to Prague and check into a hostel, unaware of a lethal chain of events that have been put into motion. As soon as they arrive, their pictures and descriptions are sent out to customers of a torture & murder clinic known as Elite Hunting. Now as time begins to pass, the young women are about to face the most horrific fates imaginable, but is escape even possible?
Entertainment Value: Hostel: Part II gives us a little closure on the first chapter, then weaves a similar narrative with one obvious twist, as the tourists are all female this time around. But even though the core story remains about the same, we are more prepared the second time and the movie shifts gears here and there, just enough to keep things fresh, but still rooted in the established Hostel formula. I also think the main characters are more interesting in this sequel, which makes the entire movie more interesting, at least to me. Bijou Phillips and Heather Matarazzo in specific are smart casting choices, as they bring their own unique energies to the roles and elevate the material with strong, memorable performances. The leads here aren’t just tourists looking for hedonistic pleasures, so that alters the overall dynamic a little, but again, Hostel: Part II sticks fairly close to the original in ways as well. I wasn’t a big fan of how prominent Roger Bart’s character was, as I felt that was one of the weaker elements at work here, but even so, this proves to be a rock solid sequel. So for fans of the original or horror cinema in general, this one earns a strong recommendation.
This movie has infrequent nakedness, with a few topless scenes sprinkled toward the film’s start, but it also has a wild, Bathory inspired sequence that is one of the more memorable moments. That scene features one naked woman slicing another naked woman to ribbons, then allowing the blood to pour down onto her in a bath, so quite an eye opening turn of events there. That ratchets up the sleaze meter of course, but also the blood quotient, as that scene has some manic slice and dice action, with impressive special effects to bring the assault to life. Other violence includes a gleeful game of soccer around a severed head, penis trauma, some vicious dog attacks, biting off someone’s nose to spite their face, a cat enjoying a red tinged breakfast, and some assorted other minor bloodshed instances. The dialogue is serviceable, but aside from some mild girl talk, not much stands out as overly interesting or memorable. As for craziness, the Bathory scene is a wild exercise in cinema, but overall Hostel: Part II relies on gore more than off the deep end madness. But the violence and fairly colorful characters help, as does the sometimes present dark sense of humor.
Overall Insanity: 4/10
The Disc: Mill Creek has release Hostel: Part II on Blu-ray in a double feature pack with the original Hostel, with both also available on a DVD. The transfer looks good, with a clean print and sharp detail throughout. The movie’s visual design tends to lean dark, so there’s not always rich, fine detail evident, but the contrast is stark, so those scenes don’t spiral into muddiness. Some minor issues arise, but overall Hostel: Part II looks more than solid in this presentation.