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With repulsion levels at least comparable to Cannibal Holocaust, Herschell Gordon Lewis' Blood Feast, and other gory slasher landmarks, Eli Roth's Hostel 2 reconfigures ideas of violence to test how down and dirty a horror film can get. The film raises the stakes, leaving those who wish to make a sicker film out in the lurch for the time being. This sequel, like the first Hostel, is set in and around a Slovakian factory where European students are kidnapped, tortured, and killed by rich businessmen who pay enormous sums to experience death firsthand. An international elite, all tattooed with a bulldog insignia, bid on young people to slaughter in a mob-organized, high-end, sex-slave trade catering to those with a death fetish. In Hostel 2, three girls from Rome, Beth (Laura German), Whitney (Bijou Phillips), and Lorna (Heather Matarazzo), are lured to Slovakia by a sultry, vampiric hottie (Vera Jordonova) who modeled for them in figure drawing class. Sidetracked and disoriented by some Pagan Slovakian festivals and luxurious hot springs, the girls slip away one by one, until the film moves inside the torture chambers. One client sits in a bathtub beneath her victim, who she slices with a scythe to bathe in blood, Elizabeth Bathory-style. Body parts fly as clients entering the facilities select their weapons of choice in a room full of knives, power tools, and rubber clothing. As ridiculous as it sounds, haunting soundtrack and cinematography set a disturbing mood. Morbid humor, for example when a chainsaw unplugs centimeters from a victim's face, pays homage to Hostel 2's schlocky predecessors. Fortunately, one survivor remains, providing an ounce of vengeful, and sexy, satisfaction. As in the best exploitation films, gratuitous sex and violence are the norm here. What will be a warning to some to avoid this gruesome movie will be to others a cue to head straight to the theater. --Trinie Dalton