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Mike's Strange Cinema Cavalcade - Mill Creek HOSTEL Blu-Ray/DVD Double Feature

hostel 2
Budget priced package of Eli Roth's gorefests.


Review by Michael Vaughn


mill creek hostel double





Mill Creek Entertainment. Total Runtime: 189 Minutes. Unrated. 1080p.


Hostel:
Eli Roth made a splash with his 2002 debut Cabin Fever, a “Thing” like take on cabin paranoia, and the result was pretty great. But it wouldn’t be until 2005's Hostel that he really made a mark on the genre while also launching himself as a new voice to be reckoned with. This would also make him a lightning rod for both parents and other fans labeling these films as “torture porn”, which I always thought as very unfair.

hostel

Hostel is about a couple of American backpackers who find themselves mixed up in a dangerous “murder vacation” where rich men and women pay big money to kill humans.

Roth delivers a nasty, fast paced little movie that harkens back to Grindhouse movies like Pieces. It's best to view this movie through the lens of a throwback to the '70s when, yeah the stories may not have been brilliant and it was more about the shock and the camp factor. But really the story here is damn solid, with characters that have surprising depth. You really do root for them! With enough time I feel like these movies will be seen with much kinder eyes.


Hostel 2:
Hostel 2 does everything a sequel should, in that it builds the first film's mythos instead of simply just retreading the same plot, while also giving audiences more of what they enjoyed about the original.

What we get here is to see the women's point of view and how they factor into the films' “system”. This subverts expectations while also giving a clearer scope of the operation.

hostel 2

Seriously, this sequel does not get the credit it deserves. It really is a clever, fast-moving film that delivers the nasty goods and Hey, you get a not bad story as well.

Roth will always divide fans however most agree this is a pretty good movie. The ending is shocking and humorous, and that for me sums up the series. Instead of a mirror image of the first film the second attempts something new with an Italian/giallo flair.

hostel

3/5 Picture: Picture wise this seems to be a slight step down from the Sony release but still retains a sharp crisp look. True HD purists looking for the greatest picture may find it lacking but I personally thought it looked just fine.

5/5 Sound: Both features boast an impressive 5.1 track that really highlights the films' scores etc. So all the splatter, screams and organ trauma can be heard in all its gory glory. When used with speakers you really get a theatre quality sound. 

0/5 Extras: Sadly Mill Creek was unable to port over the features from the 2007 Sony release of both films. No features accompany this release.



3/5 Value and Overall: Frankly, this set is a bit disappointing. Fans these days expect more from their blu titles and some new features would have been a treat. Hell, they could have even included the third Hostel movie (even though I hear it's pretty dreadful). Bottom line, give us something new. I understand that it was probably nearly impossible to get the Sony features ported but maybe produce some new features? As with their other releases, Mill Creek is great for those who enjoy the movie and don’t want to pay for the extras. This might be frustrating for anyone like myself who enjoy the special features. However if you don’t care about this, they do pass along the savings as both films cost less than 10 dollars.

Overall these hardcore horror outings might not be for everybody. However if you are a fan and again, don’t mind the lack of any features, the value is great.




Michael Vaughn is a rabid horror and cult fan who turned that love into a career. He is a writer, blogger and film historian and now author of 'The Ultimate Guide to Strange Cinema' which Shock Wave Podcast named their pick of the month, and Chris Alexander of Fangoria called “recommended reading.”


His other credits include Scream Magazine, Fangoria and websites like Films in Review and Bloody Flicks(UK). Please follow his Twitter @StrangeCinema65 and Instagram @castle_anger.

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