March 11, 2016
SPOILERS IN REVIEW: I am a huge fan of Hostel and a fan of Hostel: Part II. They are an interesting two to mash up to me. Not just because one is a direct sequel which picks up where the first leaves off, but because they are a nice balance thematically. In the first film, every single person who does not respect the other gender is punished (in very grotesque ways). In the first one, it is the males who are sucked into the events by a couple women (who view them with as little respect for their lives as the boys have for their bodies). The script is flipped in the second one. The girls seem nicer but they still choose to go to the Harvest Festival out of lust for a hot guy grabbing a brochure.
I love how these movies take you to the edge of discomfort and then pulls back (e.g. the toe cutting/clipping). There's actually not very many gory shots in the first one. There are so many shots of bloody tools, walls, or bloody people but the actual graphic violence is a lot less than you'd expect. I think it is used extremely effectively when needed and not overdone in the first film. For example there is only one single shot of the drill breaking skin before cutting away to the gruesome tools. The second film goes a bit too far in this way for my taste.
Now, as for the edit this is an effective 2 to 1. Maniac edits with a deft touch and trims are done very well. None of the stories of either is lost in the condensing. However, there were a couple things that stood out to me. The opening was a touch confusing because of the edit. It goes from the sex brothel to a shot of a guy closing an exterior door. That is the hostel but appeared to be the building we just saw. I wonder if the movie couldn't just start on the train (which would eliminate the quasi-rush of info to get them onto the train). Also, the color and lighting change between films is noticeable only in the first scene, since it's a continuation of the last movie. I'd cut that part altogether and go right to the hospital bed dream scene since they shot it two years later and the train scene is noticeably different (lighting, lens (I think), etc).
The edit is absolutely successful in what it sets out to accomplish, so kudos to Maniac for that. Mashing the two up do make it clearer for me why I prefer the first one. As part of a two-parter, his journey's payoff doesn't last long (common to 2-for-1s but worth noting). I also do not care for the very end of the second part. I personally would have cut her being a part of the organization because I found it unrealistic for the character but that is my opinion. The acting is superior in the second film and it has its merits. Good job in combining the two well.