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Hostel Part II

Year: 2007
Production Co: Raw Nerve
Studio: Lions Gate
Director: Eli Roth
Producer: Eli Roth
Writer: Eli Roth
Cast: Lauren German, Bijou Phillips, Heather Matarazzo, Roger Bart, Jay Hernandez
Pretty much the same story again but - as writer/director Eli Roth has said - vastly more sexualised and threatening because three girls are at the centre of the drama.

We start with a brief coda where we catch up with Paxton (Hernandez), haunted and in hiding back in the US because The Club knows no national boundaries and will stop at nothing to silence him and protect their secret.

We then meet the girls as they make their way across Europe. Much of the beginning of the movie is the same as the original and we watch with an increasing sense of menace as they plunge unknowingly deeper into danger before the bloody payoff.

But Roth has tried to give it a jolt by having some major differences despite a very similar narrative. The first is that this time we peek behind the curtain at how the elite enterprise operates. It's done partly through the heroine Beth getting comeuppance on her would-be killer and the organisation behind him in a way Paxton could never have.

We also see how the whole thing works to a degree, watching as the operatives of the Company identify level-headed Beth (German), soft-hearted Lorna (Matarazzo - a world away from Anne Hathaway's sidekick in The Princess Diaries) and party girl Whitney (Phillips) and put them up for auction. We criss-cross the world as various well-to-do types bid on the girls until regular guys Stuart (Bart) and Todd are the winning bidders.

Some of the horror disappears not just with the mystique of the operation stripped away but in Roth's attempt to portray the people who patronise such a system as ordinary people with a very dark secret instead of dark, Eastern European bogeymen, but some scenes of genuinely disturbing torture and bloodshed ensure the visceral impact if it's your cup of tea. Watch out also for the cameos of great horror directors past.

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