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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Hostel - Grotesque horror flick is top box office draw

Scene from 'Hostel' ( News) The number one film in Hollywood is no longer a religious children's film, but instead a low budget nightmare that uses blood, torture and twisted fantasies to push horror to an extreme.

The movie, Hostel, easily beat its competition last weekend by earning more than $20 million US in its first three days. In doing so, it dethroned The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe from the top spot at the box office.

Hostel, written and directed by Eli Roth and backed by Quentin Tarantino, is about a group of American teenagers, out for a good time in Europe who end up trapped in a warehouse where wealthy people pay to torture their victims.

The graphic nature of the film has earned it an R rating for its torture and violence, strong sexual content, language and drug use scenes.

These elements are the reason why horror fans and writers have enjoyed the movie.

"The thing I really like about it is the mass amount of nudity, the serious brutality and the mass amount of violence they got away with," horror film critic Spooky Dan Walker said.

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Some mainstream film critics are unimpressed by the film though.

"(It is) one of the most misogynistic films ever made," a critic for The New York Times wrote. The paper also called the film racist.

Other critics are not so hard on the film.

"I don't think it breaks new ground, but it delivers what it promises and a lot of films these days do not do that no matter what genre we are talking about," Michael Rechtshaffen of Hollywood Reporter said.

Variety Magazine reported that Eli Roth has been commissioned to make a sequel to Hostel after its successful first weekend. The film studio is hoping to release the movie next year.

At the same time of Hostel's success, a theatre in Utah, and one in Lethbridge Alberta, refuses to show Brokeback Mountain because the movie, about gay cowboys, is considered too risque.

The same theatres are showing Hostel though.

* With files from CTV's Graham Richardson in Los Angeles


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