"Two adventurous American college buddies, Paxton and Josh, backpack through Europe eager to make quintessentially hazy travel memories with new friend Oli, an Icelander they've met along the way. Paxton and Josh are eventually lured by a fellow traveler to what's described as a nirvana for American backpackers--a particular hostel in an out-of-the-way Slovakian town stocked with Eastern European women as desperate as they are gorgeous. The two friends arrive and soon easily pair off with exotic beauties Natalya and Svetlana. In fact, too easily. Initially distracted by the good time they're having, the two Americans quickly find themselves trapped in an increasingly sinister situation that they will discover is as wide and as deep as the darkest, sickest recess of human nature itself--if they survive. " http://movies.yahoo.com
As the opening credits come on, we are treated to the faint sounds of a man whistling briskly as he cleans what appears to be a dirty shower stall or something possibly of the sort. We can't see, it's rather dark.
At one point, the audience sees a pair of really bloody, filthy shearers or lawn clippers. It's nasty, whatever it is. We hear a door slam shut and the movie begins.
We begin by seeing a trio of young men, Paxton, Josh, and Uli (their Icelandic cohort who they picked up in France) leaving their European youth hostel. It's present day. They reveal right away that they're in Amsterdam. What's the first thing you have to do in Amsterdam? Well, go to a coffee shop, of course! And that's exactly where they go- but as it turns out, the place is just filled with other Americans also taking bong hits and laughing hysterically. Josh thinks it's sad that he's come all the way to Europe just to smoke pot, when that's all they did back in college. The men depart for a disco/techno club.
It becomes readily evident that all the men have done in Europe is tried unsuccessfully to pick up women. Their quest continues here, as they start hitting on some smoking' hot Dutch girls. Everything is going well till Josh whips some cash out of his fanny pack, putting the nail in his coffin. Undeterred, Josh gives his fanny pack to a perturbed Paxton, and proceeds to approach another smiling girl. Unfortunately, he spills a drink onto another girl, and her boyfriend picks a fight. Needless to say, the two are thrown out the club... Somehow, Uli is with them again (we saw Uli not five minutes ago banging a girl and taking pictures of the act with his cell phone). But whatever.
The three guys, Paxton, Josh, and Uli, tour Amsterdam's infamous "Red Light District" maybe looking to buy some action. Josh, with whom we've been sympathizing for quite some time, says he'd rather not. We are then inside the brothel as there are multiple silhouettes of people in lewd acts streaming in through various doorways. One of these appears to be a guy getting beaten up, but it's only some guy getting a bondage treatment. Josh gets out the room, but there in the hall are his two buds, obviously finished with whatever they were up to. They go into the bondage room, while Josh ventures to whence his friends came. In the room at the end of the hall, there's a beautiful prostitute washing her hands. We see her take off her bra (this movie teeters on soft-core porn pretty regularly), but as she turns around, Josh is gone.
The three are once again reunited. They stumble back to their hostel, but, alas, it's after curfew and they're locked out. They yell, but some disgruntled neighbors drive them away to a nearby flat, owned by a friend of Uli's. Uli is a drifter, you understand. As the guys enter the apartment, we are greeted with the sight of two people having sex on the couch, while no one else seems to care. They meet the owner of the house, Alex, who has a weird black mark on his lip and just looks generally eccentric and rather odd. They explain to Alex the situation, and their intention to hit Barcelona, where the girls are supposedly stunning. Alex sees right through the American's story, as it is obvious that neither of them has gotten laid but once on this trip. He tells them of this mythical hostel, whose whereabouts are known only by word of mouth and those in the know, where one can get the best pussy of all time. Incredulous, the guys pass, but then Alex busts out the digital camera. HOLY CRAP. Basically just pictures of three to four naked chicks lying on top of each other, with Alex periodically sandwiched in with them. The guys are sold right there.
So, they're on the train headed for the hostel, which is said to be "East of Bratislava", for what it's worth. Obviously an eastern-European town that was once a prototypical Soviet village. On the train, they run into a dutch businessman with a briefcase and upscale dress. The man is actually very eerie as he eats his salad with his fingers, telling the boys that it is his way of communing with nature, that people have lost touch. At this point, the man makes a move on Josh, to which Josh completely flips, predictably. The guy gets up and leaves.
The train pulls in, the guys get off, and the town is gorgeous. They go straight to the Hostel, and get a room. Another comedic moment: as they walk in, these five guys are watching the execution scene from /Pulp Fiction/, making just about everyone in the theater laugh. Needless to say, the woman behind the counter is stunning, and the camera's eye mimics that of the men, checking her out completely as she turns to get their key. Paxton wants private rooms, but apparently they'll have to share the room, as it's semi-private. When they go in their room, however, the story is completely different as we see two women, Svetlana and Natalya, both of whom could pass for models changing in full view of the guys. They seem to enjoy the guys' presence, and invite them to the spa. The spa? In a youth hostel? The next shot is a wide pan of the spa, and we are treated to the sight of a dozen or so naked, utterly incredible women bathing in the hot steam. In an adjacent sauna, we see the two beauties from before, topless thank God. The guys go in and make small talk, and are invited to another club that evening, and decide to go.
The next shot is of inside the club, which is probably the cheapest, worst set I've ever seen in a movie, but it's filmed such that it looks almost realistic. The guys are dancing, doing X and what not, and old Uli is up there partying it up with the chick from the front desk. Paxton has Svetlana while Josh gets Natalya, who I think is way hotter. They're both incredible, though. Josh's asthma picks up, though, when Natalya blows cigarette smoke in his face, and he has to step outside for a few inhaler puffs. Once their, in the semi-darkness, a bunch of street urchin kids come up and demand money. He doesn't know what to do and it's kinda tense, until the same Dutch guy with the nice glasses (the one with the salad) suddenly appears and throws coins at the kids. Josh thanks him and asks to buy him a drink, to which the Dutchman agrees. They go inside and resolve their differences, and supposedly this guy has a daughter. The two talk briefly before Josh rejoins his friends. Eventually, the scene changes to their hotel room, which aside from the fact that it's two guys having sex in relatively close proximity, is really, really well done. Tarantino obviously gave Eli Roth a few pointers on how to do this, cause the scene looks great.
The next morning, the guys wake up to find Uli gone. Both are pretty distraught when they see he's not at breakfast, and look around for him. As they walk along, Paxton describes an incident that happened to him when he was 8, when he saw a girl drowning but didn't do enough to save her. He says the screams of the dying girl's mother haunted him for months. As Paxton finishes up his story, the two see a guy wearing Uli's orange coat. Uli! They chase him around until the guy escapes into a museum. As the guys follow him in, it becomes apparent that it is one of the myriad torture museums in Europe. What might have originally been kinda tense and creepy lasts a good ten seconds. They basically just collar the guy at the exit without so much as a jump-scare. The guy isn't Uli but is very menacing and has a bad set of teeth. He tells them it's his jacket, and to go fornicate with themselves.
Paxton finally comes to the realization that maybe Uli just left, that things might happen here in Europe. As he's saying that, a Japanese schoolgirl who we saw previously in passing runs up to the two, visibly distraught. As it so happens, her friend is also missing, and shows them a picture on her camera phone. It's of her friend and Uli, with grim expressions, standing in front of a big smokestack. The word "sayanara" (goodbye) is written beneath in Japanese.
As the guys walk away, they get another picture message on the cell phone. It's one of just Uli, with the words "I go home" across the bottom. Uli's expression is odd, but kinda looks like the spirit in /Ghost/ who teaches Patrick Swayze how to touch objects. The camera kinda goes through the phone to Uli's head, which is disembodied and sitting on a table. The whistling guy is shown from the chest down in a butcher's outfit with surgical glove, a costume we'll see quite often. He flips shut his cell phone and walks down the hallway with the lawn clippers in hand, towards a girl in obvious anguish. With a little deduction we can determine that it's the Japanese girl's friend. This is the part from the trailer, with the toe getting cut off, though we don't actually see the cutting off part (instead, we see Svetlana clipping her nail, nice segue).
The two guys are pretty freaked out from the picture, but see the girls. They invite them to go back to the club, and they agree.
Back at the disco, we the audience are shown two things: Josh is obviously really affected by Uli's disappearance; and there are some disquieting goons lurking around in trenchcoats. While Paxton is having fun dancing, Josh just basically gets sloshed and goes back to his hotel room. When he gets there, the hot front desk girl who Uli was getting with earlier helps him to his room, and lies him down on the same bed from which Uli disappeared. As he passes out, we see a pair of male shoes emerge in the doorway. Menacing.
Back to the club, Paxton is sitting with the two girls, pissed that they're gossiping about him in an eastern bloc language he doesn't understand (he does speak German, though). He goes to the bathroom, but when he gets there it's just a storage room that locks behind him. He eventually passes out after pounding on the door to no avail.
As he passes out, we suddenly see what appears to be the interior of a prison cell or shower or something. We can only see the surroundings through a tiny eye hole in the top-left of the screen, but see plenty. The room is rectangular, with a door at the far side and low shelves on the adjacent walls. On these shelves are surgical implements, garden tools, and nasty stuff of various size. On the other side of the room are hatches, hammers, machetes, chainsaws and pistols. Lovely. We see a man come in, wearing the same costume as the guy before. This is all very claustrophobic, since it's behind the little peephole. The bag is removed from Josh's head, and he starts screaming at the guy. He didn't do anything, please don't hurt me, that sort of thing. The guy isn't phased, but rather peruses all the worrisome implements laid out neatly on the tables. He picks up a large drill, with a long skinny bit, and revs it slightly to Josh's horror. He comes over to Josh and pushes it into his flesh as Josh screams. Eventually, he backs off and we see there are six holes with blood pouring out, four on his chest forming a large square, and two right above his knees. By the way, Josh is in handcuffs and shackled to the chair upon which he sits.
The torturer grabs a scalpel, which I think is one of the grossest things in existence, and takes off his surgeon's mask. As he's doing this, Josh pukes in the background. The surgeon's the guy from before, who Josh shared a drink with. He grabs a scalpel and goes on a long-winded monologue about life and connecting with nature, how he wanted to be a surgeon but was denied, and instead got rich in business. The guy's obviously psychopathic and drunk with power and ego, but it doesn't matter since he's the one with the knife. After his speech, he gets up and we hear some pretty disgusting noises of flesh getting sliced. He unshackles Josh, opens the door, and tells him he's free to go. Though in real life he'd probably be passed out from sleep deprivation, blood loss, hangover, massive induced trauma and pain, he gets up gratefully. When he does this, the camera cuts to his heels, where both of his Achilles tendons have been slashed wide open and he tumbles to the ground. The Dutch guy comes back in, grabs his feet and puts him back in the chair, where he slices Josh's throat open with the scalpel.
The entire scope of the film now flips to Paxton, who stumbles out of the club and returns to the Hostel. He asks the guy behind the counter for his room key, but he's supposedly checked out. His bag is with the clerk and there's no sign of Josh. He's creeped out, but goes to the room where he sees to girls exactly as before. Except, it's not Svetlana and Natalya, just two girls who look similar and act identically. They even ask him to join the spa. He's freaked out now, and gives the clerk an earful. Also, we notice that the Japanese girl is gone.
Paxton goes to the police station, where the cop has a distinct face with baggy eyes. He tells Paxton there's really nothing he can do but wait back at the Hostel.
Nevertheless, Paxton wanders the town, where he sees a familiar orange smokestack. He compares the smokestack with the one in the picture, and they match. As he dials a number to try Josh's cell again, those damn street urchins grab it away from him and take off. Paxton runs one of them down and starts choking him, but lets go. He trudges on under a bridge, and sees Natalya walk into a bar. He follows her in up the stairs, where it's her and Svetlana talking with one of those goons from before. Paxton's pissed, and wants to know where Josh is. The girls explain to him, through bad English and worse acting, that he went to an art exhibit. He demands to see it, and Natalya agrees and goes with him. Svetlana, interestingly, tries for a second to prevent it, and tells him to instead have a drink, but Paxton is adamant. Svetlana doesn't come with, saying she's already seen that show.
Natalya and Paxton ride in the back of an old black car of indeterminate make, possibly of Soviet origin (communist Russia made everything from wheelbarrows to cars back in the seventies and eighties). The girl keeps joking, but Paxton isn't having any of it. He just wants to see his friend and leave. The car arrives at what must have been a munitions plant or factory from the cold war, now mostly in disrepair. A sentry post with an arm still remains though, and lets them in.
It's basically a complex of semi-dilapidated buildings with a square in front. Sure enough, the main building is a giant factory with that orange smokestack. There are a lot of similar black cars with chauffeurs and goons standing around. As Paxton gets out, he sees a well-dressed Chinese-American, who when asked "Is it nice in there?" responds with "Don't spend too much". Kinda weird.
Paxton passes a booth with an older guy inside with mutton chops, who tells Paxton that for him, the exhibit is free. Natalya and Paxton walk further into the factory, which is a complete dump of a place, obviously hasn't been used for anything productive since before the Berlin Wall fell. At this point I lost sympathy for Paxton, who is obviously too stupid to see he's being set up, which he obviously is. It's like the guy DeNiro fires in /Casino/- I just didn't feel sorry for him anymore.
Paxton walks down stairs into a dark, familiar hallway with Natalya, and continues on to the end of the hall. We see Josh's corpse being surgically operated upon by the salad guy, and Paxton freaks, calling Natalya a bitch. She laughs, saying she's getting so much money for this, that Paxton is really the bitch. At this point, some goons jump out of the woodwork and drag Paxton away. We stick with Paxton though, as he passes by room after room of people being tortured, maimed and beaten in various ways. It's both fascinating and disgusting simultaneously, as we only see each victim for an instant. Paxton is eventually put in a familiar chair, facing away from the door, in a cell much like before. He's strapped in, and left in the dark for about twenty seconds as we just hear him bitch and moan, screaming and such.
A guy comes in eventually, dressed predictably. This guy we haven't seen before though, and is skinny and tawdry. The goon tells Paxton to speak, proving that he's an American. The goon leaves, and the new guy picks up a pistol, waving it in Paxton's face. Paxton starts yelling at the guy that he's never done anything to him, that he doesn't want to die, but the guy yells back something in German. German! Paxton starts speaking German, and it's obviously the same things that he just said in English. The guy with the gun gets freaked out, and runs out of the room. The goon re-appears and puts a ball gag on Paxton. The new guy then gabs a chainsaw off the wall and starts revving it in Paxton's face. Like Josh, he throws up, but this time into the gag and in plain sight. Really nasty. The new guy kinda pities him and takes off the gag, and Paxton blows chunks across the floor. As he does this, the guy takes the chainsaw and saws off part of Paxton's hand, removing his ring and pinkie finger with lots of blood.
Since the chainsaw inadvertently hit the handcuffs, the guy runs at Paxton with the chainsaw, but slips on the gag and vomitous, comedically getting impaled by his own chainsaw. It pulls out his intestines, but he still alive. Paxton somehow manages to pry his chair off the ground ( only one bolt is holding him down?!?) and reaches for the pistol on the table as the guy reaches for the chainsaw. Paxton grabs the gun and blows the guy's brains out.
We then see the goon outside watching porn on a DVD player, and Paxton calls his name. The guy walks in to the cell, to find the new guy dead on arrival. Paxton takes the opportunity by turning around and shooting the guy point-blank. He undoes his shackles and grabs a hammer and his severed fingers, heading outside.
Two goons are walking out, so he hides in a nearby closet. Now this part is really nasty: just as he gets in there, the door starts to open, so he hides on the bottom of this cart piled high with various human remains and body parts. Don't ask me how he managed to wedge himself under 600 pounds of organic, dripping material in three seconds, but he did. The cart is pushed away by the fat whistler from before, and onto an elevator. They go down six flights to the incinerator, where the whistler starts grabbing random parts of the cart and chopping them up as a butcher would. Paxton's fingers are lost, unfortunately.
When the guy leaves the room with a bucketfuls of body parts, Paxton gets out and clubs the guy, who's putting the parts into an oven. He heads back to the elevator gripping his hand, and hits the up button. About halfway up some guys spot him, but he keeps going. When he gets to the top floor (ground level), he is in what seems to be a dressing room, with several butcher/surgeon costumes hung on the wall. He checks the lockers, and finds a beautiful expensive suit with a pair of gloves. Once it's on, he notices a business card in his pocket, with the words "Elite Hunting" beside a picture of a bloodhound. On the back, there are three prices: $5,000 for Russian, $10,000 for European, and $25,000 for American. This sickens Paxton, who starts to run out but runs into a guy walking in. The guy assumes that Paxton is a paying customer just leaving, and starts on a rant of his own, saying how it's such a rush and comparing the different ways of doing it. He says he paid 50 grand for his client today, and Paxton just wants to get the hell out there. Interestingly, the guy has a tattoo of a bloodhound on his arm, identical to the one on the card, meaning there's an intense fraternity here.
Paxton runs out, and sees the policeman from before with the baggy eyes shaking hands with one of the goons. He finds a car, which miraculously still has the keys in the ignition (and a bloodhound on the key chain). He hears some blood-curdling screams from the factory. He runs down, though there doesn't seem to be any guards suddenly, and finds the American from before with his $50,000 dollar client (it's the Japanese girl with the cell phone). He's taking a blowtorch to her face, and Paxton shoots him. As he helps the girl, her eye is hanging out of her head, and she's screaming. He cuts off the eye in plain view of the camera, and pus gushes out of the wound. He unshackles her, and they run back to the car.
Paxton takes off in the car, the girl's face all bloody and nasty. They flee down several alleys and find a van blocking their way. Paxton honks the horn until a guy comes out and moves the van. As the van moves, we see Natalya, Svetlana, and Alex standing together. Natalya makes brief eye contact with Paxton, and he runs over all three of them. Svetlana and Alex are killed instantly. Natalya, bloody, looks up toward the car speeding off, and another car clocks her, dragging her away.
Paxton and the Japanese girl then get surrounded by the gang of kids while they're in the car. Paxton finds a huge bag of candy in the car and gives it to the gang leader. The kids let them pass. Then the goons roll up, but have nothing for the kids and even threaten them. More kids pelt them with rocks from above, then the gang on the ground beats them to death.
They eventually get to a roadblock and there's no one behind them. At the roadblock, the same cop from before is checking everyone's cars for signs of Paxton. He sees him for an instant, but as he runs to him, Paxton and the girl have run away.
They eventually get to the train station, but the place is crawling with crooked cops on the lookout. As Paxton tries to hide with the luggage, the girl sees a reflection of herself in a schedule case. Horrified, she commits suicide by jumping in front of a locomotive, spraying blood all over passerby. Paxton gets on the train and cries.
When Paxton arrives in a city that's actually normal, he sees the salad guy from before, and immediately recognizes him. He follows him off the train into a bathroom, and locks the door. As the guy's sitting on the toilet, the Elite Hunting card flips under the stall, freaking him out. He reaches down to pick it up, but Paxton slices off two of his fingers with a scalpel, again in full view. He busts through the stall door and begins to drown the Dutchman. It appears as though he may be dead, but the guy gasps out of the toilet and sees Paxton's face in the reflection of some metal behind the toilet. He's shocked and in awe, but Paxton grabs him and slices his neck open. He throws him back in the toilet, and exits.
Paxton gets back on the train, and it pulls out of the station. The screen fades to black, and the word HOSTEL appears on the screen over the tense music.
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