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Hostel (DVD Review)

9 Mar, 2006 By: Brendan Howard


Prebook 3/16/06; Street 4/18/06
Sony Pictures
Box Office $47.3 million
$28.95 DVD (PSP also available)
Rated 'R.'
Stars Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson.

It's a testament to the enthusiasm of writer-director Eli Roth that he participates in four commentaries on his sophomore film, Hostel. It's a testament to his sense of humor and his candor and that of his commentators that the commentaries are so listenable. Of course, only big fans of the film will spend six hours listening, but rest assured they'll have something to listen to.

The commentaries include: director; director and producer (with Roth); producer Chris Briggs and documentarian and Roth's brother, Gabriel Roth; executive producer (with Roth), Quentin Tarantino, Boaz Yakin and Scott Spiegel; and director, cast and guest commentary (with Roth, two actors, online film critic Harry Knowles and editor George Folsey Jr.).

In his director commentary, Roth spends time talking shop and about his trip from unexpected success with first film Cabin Fever to working on Hostel. More technical stuff is confined to the producer commentary. The best conversations fill the executive producer track, while the best tidbits fill the director, cast and guest commentary.

Also on disc is a lengthy three-part documentary. Adolescent humor, trying times on set, and the refreshingly optimistic outlook of excited European actors make it a fun must-see for fans.

The final extra is a multiangle look at a crowd of kids beating on a car in a pivotal scene. You'd think the kids would be into smashing a car, but viewers will hear off-screen voices urging on the kids. I guess smashing things is never as much fun if someone is asking you to do it.

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