(2005) dir. Eli Roth
viewed: 04/22/06

I have mixed feelings about this flick. The first part of it, with backpackers bouncing around Europe looking for sex, features some pretty lame dialogue and character development. It’s cultivating cliches about the whole tripping through Europe thing. It just kinda sucks.

Then when the violence hits, writer/director Eli Roth seems to hit his stride a bit. There are some moments of extreme graphical violence and torture. And somehow this rides some lines between shock, horror, and comedy almost. Though, I am not certain that the comedy is always intentional — it’s hard to tell in a film that seems pretty self-aware of its genre.

The torture and the madness all take place in Slovakia. And while the clients of this torture company are of all stripes of nationality, there seem some pretty nasty commentary aimed at poor and developing Eastern Europe. It’s the new area of fear. Of the poor, of the ruthless, the desperate, all who will pander heartlessly to the rich and evil.

I didn’t really care for Roth’s Cabin Fever (2002), his last feature horror bloodbath that was considered ripe with homage for the slasher genre. He seems to have buddied-up with Quentin Tarantino for good measure and has many more films on the slate. If they sound interesting, I’ll probably check them out. But I don’t think he’s particularly great.

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