Appropriately enough after the last post, let's talk about Eli Roth's sequel to his groundbreaking exploration of underground sadism, the jaded desires of the filthy rich and dumb American teenagers in peril.
Stick around to the end to listen to the incredibly beautiful and haunting "Synecku Synecku" (by Varmuzova Cimbalova), which is not included on the original soundtrack. A serious omission from the OST, because it's easily the most memorable piece of music from the most emotionally stirring sequence in either film.
Right off the bat, I want to say that I don't get the popular hatred for Roth amongst horror fans. I understand that his frat boy humour and antics can be annoying... but the simple fact is that Eli makes a great horror film. Much better than most I might add. People criticise his movies for being too referential, but I think the way Roth does it is tasteful and cool. It's odd because the thing that strikes me about all his movies is how original they are despite all the homage in them.
And his movies are scary. The first time I saw Cabin Fever at the Sydney Film Fest, I was scared shitless. Angelo Badalamenti's eerie score over that ominous bleed to red still fills me with dread. And as well as being genuinely frightening, his movies are just well made... thoughtfully scripted, impeccably shot, carefully composed, tightly edited and gorgeously graded. Yeah, as you can tell, I'm a fan. Of course I can understand people not liking his work - each to their own after all. I just don't get the hate.
When Hostel came out it was original, scary and subversive. It's a great horror film, and I like it a lot, but it's actually my least favourite of Roth's films. Hostel Part II is my favourite. I prefer my Euro-horror to J-horror, so the first movie's love-letter to Japanese gore (Takashi Miike cameo; guro inspired Japanese girl having her face blow torched and eye mutilated, etc) is no match for the sequel's many groovy European references.
From the fun Ruggero Deodato and Edwige Fenech cameos to the tense and scary sequence that homages Aldo Lado’s sleazy Last House rip-off Night Train Murders, the movie is a blast for Italian horror fans. Another pretty obvious Euro-horror reference is Elite Hunting CEO Sasha's cold blooded killing of one of the the "Bubblegum Gang" kids, which recalls the unflinching child carnage on display in Narciso Ibáñez Serrador's Who Can Kill A Child, a taboo that is rarely seen in American cinema.
Finally, check out the giallo-esque, eye-popping primary colours above in that jarring transition from the hot red of the Countess Bathory sequence to the icy blue of Iceland's scenic Blue Lagoon. Beautiful stuff.
So, do you have the money and the balls to join the most exclusive country club around... Elite Hunting? If so, click the quote to place your bid!