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I hate the term torture-porn. With the success of the Saw and Hostel films, and the like, a lot of critics have been throwing around that term, denouncing the whole genre. Torture has been around since the dawn of mankind, and used as entertainment for nearly as long. (Think gladiators and such.) It's been a common theme in films for quite a while as well; just because it's popular now, doesn't mean that society is going to hell, or that once the trend has run its course that the films won't continue to be made.

That said, I think that Eli Roth is on top of the game when it comes to these kinds of films. Cabin Fever and Hostel are two of the better made horror films of the last five years, they're wonderfully sick and funny, with acting and filmmaking that rises above the typical studio horror films. I saw both of them as extremely dark comedies, more than just straight-up horror films. The characters find themselves in such ridiculous situations and the gore is so over-the-top, that you really can't take any of it seriously.

Even thought it bombed in theaters, I was excited to see Hostel Part II. I thought that maybe Roth had gone so far that audiences were turned off. I was wrong, he actually pulled back too much. Maybe he took some of what the critics said to heart? Part II isn't nearly as graphic as the first one, there are definitely some memorable moments, but nothing comes close to blow-torch scene in the first film. A girl bathing in blood and a guy getting his privates cut off are the most extreme bits and neither were mind-bending.

He cut back on the sexuality as well. I thought with girls as the main characters, he might ramp up the nudity, but that was toned down as well. Overall the film was decent, the filmmaking was still excellent; I was hoping for more or more of the same, and I got less. I think that's why audiences didn't respond. The ending was satisfying and I thought it was interesting that we got to see more from the guy's who pay to do the torturing perspective, so it was an almost worthy follow-up.

I'd like to Roth move on to something else anyways, we certainly don't need a Hostel Part III.

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