A brilliant mind-fucker. It appears so blatant but there is some real subtlety in the way each of the characters is absorbed by the atmosphere (that certainly includes antagonists). Roth claims the ending of the film was thrown together, swapping for an alternate ending at the last second. I find this hard to believe because that conclusion is brilliant.
A movie I watched simply because I heard that Takashi Miike had a cameo in it. Unfortunately, my empathy reflex revolted at what is, in essence, arthouse torture porn... This seriously put me off my Miike/Tokyo Shock phase as well. Although, there is something deeper here, I don't really have the time to go back and find out what it is. Curiously enough, my revulsion didn't stop me from seeing the second movie.
Annoying characters, annoying storytelling, annoying cinematography and photography, this film explores how far you can go in producing a film without having the slightest idea about what you are(supposed to be) doing. I'll do a reactionary critique that has been outlived and got with the it tries to be torture porn and cult tits film for idiots. As to the critique of US exceptionalism, where ?
Very simply-made, however not banal by any means. This film delicately works its' way in and around your gag reflex before tearing your vomit out and choking you with it. Roth's portrayal of torture is, at worst, sheer perfection. A humble film worth 95 minutes of anyone's night.
Mostly what struck me about this film is how much it owes to Hitchcock. And I can’t be the only person to have noticed how similar the music played over the end credits was to Bernard Hermann’s Psycho score was. Eli Roth has the reputation for churning out “torture porn” but then Hostel has the same reputation but it is a workmanlike take on the traditional horror film which works very effectively.
i would very much like to never see the words an eli roth film on screen again. a conservative cipher playing hamfistedly at transgressive, churning out well-worn, cynical shite like this. so obv. he rehashed michael winner, making him look like a light-touch aesthete in comparison. anyway this is garbage of the worst kind, and i say this as a trash connoisseur. maybe he could 'reimagine' himself out of cinema...
Hardly an inspired critique of anything. While it spends an admirable 40 minutes on setting and character building, it barely touches on anything of value in the remaining time. If you want a better film about the same idea, albeit less violent, you're better off watching the first Taken.
Like the good horror/splatter movies from the 1970s Roth's film is a mirror of social situations. MUBI's opinion that it is a "critique of American exceptionalism" is far from being inappropriate or outmoded. Believe me: last week I had to travel from Vienna to Berlin via Prague by train and saw a lot of backpack tourists behaving like the three men...
As with a lot of American slasher / gory films not much is actually shown in detail. I was worried this would be too much for me but it wasn't. There is a bit of suspense which kept me interested however there is also a lot of silliness and catering to the heterosexual male gaze in this film which, for me, turned me off. I give it a low 3 stars.
One of few contenders for a future cult classic. Torture porn is just deception for psychological horror that comes from individual's fears of being kidnapped and awakened in a worst possible nightmare. So, it's not surprise that a larger portion of the movie is dedicated to portrayal of hedonistic journey where viewer can be introduced with characters and not just living meat. European stereotypes just add a flavor.
Alors que la première partie du film est plutôt inepte et niaise, la seconde se révèle pesante et gratuite de part ses insistantes et tranchantes intrusions, volontairement excessives, dans le gore répugnant, l'horreur outrancière et le chirurgical complaisant. www.cinefiches.com