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Writer-director Xavier Gens’ confused slice of Gallic ‘survival horror’ is intense and technically impressive, but politically naive. It piles on the sadistic cruelty and gore, creating a stomach-churning air of dread that ‘Hostel’ fans may relish.

References to the election of a right-wing government hint at a deeper allegory, but serve as little more than an opportunistic backdrop. On the run from Paris’s riot-torn suburbs, reluctant robber Yasmine (Karina Testa) and three male accomplices hole up near the border and enter motel hell. The owners are a neo-Nazi pater familias and his in-bred cannibal family, who serve their captives human flesh, then treat them like pigs. One victim is broiled alive in a steam oven; another’s Achilles tendons are snipped with rusty bolt-cutters.

Yasmine’s pregnancy temporarily saves her – the incestuous family’s bloodline needs renewing – but not for long. An indication of Gens’ lack of control over the material is his juxtaposition of an exploitation-style ‘girls-with-guns’ shoot-out with a distressing scene that echoes the imagery and distorted sound of Elem Klimov’s bleak 1985 war film, ‘Come and See’.

Release details

Rated: 18
Release date: Friday March 14 2008
Duration: 108 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Xavier Beauvois
Screenwriter: Xavier Beauvois
Cast: Karina Testa
Aurélien Wiik
Patrick Ligardes

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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LiveReviews|4
1 person listening
Carl

Weak and cartoonish. If you´re stupid enough to like Hostel you'll think this is a step up though.

Evan

Unfortunately, you are a jackass. Horror movies are usually gross, so if yo cant handle a great film then dont watch it. The film was one of the best of the genre . If you are a fan of horror watch this film.

Evan

Unfortunately, you are a jackass. Horror movies are usually gross, so if yo cant handle a great film then dont watch it. The film was one of the best of the genre . If you are a fan of horror watch this film.

Sophie

Had to stop eating my dinner half way through. Movie is a bit gross and not very intelligent, unfortunately. S