Three backpackers travel around Europe in search of a good time. When locked out of their hostel in Amsterdam one night, they meet a young man from Eastern Europe who tells them of a hostel in his home town that the most beautiful women in the world seemingly frequent. After seeing photographic evidence of said beautiful women sprawled all over the somewhat unattractive chap, our heroes are on the next train to the small town to surprisingly horrifying results. Playing like Eurotrip gone wrong, Hostel is a hugely uneven film that never quite figured out where it was going in the first place. Starting well, if a little slapstick, inconsistency and shift in tone are its downfall. Director Roth - whose first film was the hugely enjoyable and silly Cabin Fever - throws too much at us (breasts, gore, evil children), to buy into his overly serious final third. I'm not saying people being killed in horrendous circumstances needs to be funny, but Roth's direction is sledgehammer-heavy when a subtle hand would have evened out the pacing. To be fair, some will enjoy this, even if purely for the gore; there are some genuinely funny moments, and Rick Hoffman is always watchable. But ultimately, Hostel is a missed opportunity.
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