Monday, January 23, 2006


It's a sad moment in American film criticism when the puritanical, pseudo-moralist posturing of the current political establishment has crept into the work of those charged with tempering such overzealous thinking.

Eli Roth's electric Hostel has been met with a groundswell of hatred, from nearly every spectrum of the critical landscape. Roth's film - gory, sadistic and prurient - has been called just about every vile thing possible, for the very grotesque but affecting aesthetic that should be celebrated.

While the majority of America's film critics have been caught up in their moral superiority, they seem to have missed the fact that Roth has crafted a supremely political film, one that lambasts the jocular xenophobia of the typical American, and showing just what the rest of the world probably feels about us all.

Hostel is, without question, extreme. But satire is never really effective if it's too in line with reality. With the distance that Hostel provides with its rabidly violent overkill and graphic sexual content, it becomes quite evident that Roth is having a wickedly fun time, but is also very aware that he's made a hot-button film.

Perhaps it's good that the film has had so much negative press. The old saying and all. But sometimes, when you champion a film, you just wish that everyone else "got it". Or maybe you're just crazy yourself.

Grade: A-