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Horror movies have fallen on hard times. Amidst the deluge of pointless remakes (The Hills Have Eyes, etc.), and the greater horrors of a pro-torture Bush regime, Hostel goes with human trafficking as its we-will-shock-you premise. Two horny young American dudes (Jay Hernandez from Friday Night Lights and Dumb and Dumberer‘s Derek Richardson) are happy ripping bong hits in Amsterdam until a fellow traveler at a hostel tells them about Bratislava: “There is so much pussy, and because of the area there are no guys.” So they go. And get trapped in a pay-to-play torture house. Eli Roth’s film isn’t very clever, but it’s got gnarly gore aplenty: see a dopey kid try to walk with severed Achilles tendons, an Asian girl get her eyeball snipped out — and plenty of Eastern European betties butt-naked, of course. But despite its chilling twist about how the torture house operates, Hostel ultimately plays like a mediocre episode of the “Twilight Zone” fleshed out to feature length via bunch of masked men brandishing surgical instruments. Quentin Tarantino liked Hostel enough to endorse it; the Slovakian tourist board s probably less thrilled.

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