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film

Hostel

LATE ONE NIGHT, bored and unsleepy, we dropped in at our favorite local twenty-four-hour video store—you know, the kind that primarily trades in skin flicks but also stocks a large selection of normal Hollywood product, not to mention the occasional Bergman or Fellini film. Scanning the new releases, we fixed on a splatter film intriguingly (and no doubt punningly) titled Hostel, and eagerly opted for its promise of creepiness and low thrills, and the quality assurance of the tagline “Quentin Tarantino Presents.” Brokeback Mountain would just have to wait—again.

Hostel is a shocking and relentless film,” the DVD packaging warned us about Eli Roth’s high-grossing slaughterfest, which tracks “two Americans . . . backpacking through Europe who find themselves lured in as victims of a murder-for-profit business.” But nothing could have prepared us for the shock of recognition that would greet

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