Big question: Writer/director Eli Roth's "Cabin Fever" was a bloody good time but more of a '70s knockoff than homage to the era. Will Roth's gruesome second effort have a sick, twisted personality of its own?
Catch it: "Hostel" nods to Japanese director Takashi Miike's "Audition" but delivers an original sense of stomach-churning dread. As California college buddies (Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson) try to get high and laid in Slovakia, the film's 180-degree turn towards torture may sour you on foreign hotties forever.
Skip it if: You're thinking of traveling to Eastern Europe. "Hostel" is the most extreme watch-your-ass-when-you-go-abroad cautionary tale to squeeze into an R rating.
Bottom line: "Hostel" disturbingly explores the gray area behind people's perverted lust for power through both sex and violence. It's grisly, gory and gross, but the haunting "Hostel" kills the horror competition by mixing actual concepts into its carnage.
Bonus: Looking to save money on a dinner-and-a-movie date? Catch an early flick and kiss your appetites goodbye.
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