THE FILM: Hostel Part II
I really hated this film when I first saw it. I remember my best friend at the time argued with me the whole drive home about how creative and original this sequel was. I couldn’t see it. I was wrong. I wish we were still friends so I could admit how ignorant I was being, because re-watching the film a couple nights ago, it’s apparent how brilliant Hostel Part II is, taking the formula that was established in the original and makes the story and setting seem just as fresh the second time around. Many scenes I had forgotten, such as the passport scanning and the subsequent bidding war. I especially love, love, love Roger Bart’s relationship with Beth and his wicked turn towards the end. When this was released, people called it sexist and exploitative. They’re wrong. Some people are going to bitch no matter what, so you just have to laugh and ignore their warped views. Roth challenges these views by making Bart’s character a complete sociopath, having picked Beth because she looked like his wife, and he can’t stop himself from trying to rape her. This is the character that the audience is hoping will have a change of heart; he’s the wimpy friend after all (he freaks out upon learning that he has to get a tattoo). So by becoming a misogynistic killer, Eli Roth condemns the male viewers. To emphasize that, Beth exacts her revenge by castrating him and feeding it to the hounds. So, the one character who was metaphorically castrated by life is literally castrated at the end. Eli Roth isn’t displaying anger towards women, he’s showing his appreciation for intelligent, strong women who challenge society’s hostility. The ending of Hostel Part II, where Beth must join the elite to survive, is thematically linked with the original ending of Hostel (Part I), where Jay Hernandez murdered the daughter of the businessman. One may not agree with the morals, but will inevitably evolve in order to survive.