The problem with a successful horror franchise is that the more the media celebrates them, the more likely they are to spawn rip offs; sort of the celluloid equivalent of taking a Mogwai for a swim after midnight – there’ll certainly be plenty of the little buggers, but you wont like them half as much (and that’s if you’re really lucky) as the original.
With the coining of the terms ‘Torture Porn’ or ‘Gorno‘ (The umbrella that films with graphic scenes of mutilation , nudity, and anything else that would have given the Marquis de Sade a happy, like to huddle under while it’s raining blood) after the release of Eli Roth’s Hostel films and the hugely overrated merry go round that are the Saw movies, there have been a lot of pretenders to what I consider to be a pretty crappy throne to begin with. The truth is that these films aren’t doing things much differently from the Exploitation/Splatter films we all grew up on (If not a more stilted, soulless Hollywood version), but for the injection of the accessible fear of the more immediate threat of the unknown (Example – Johnny Foreigner and his scary culture – I mean sure we want to see the world but we want everything to be exactly like the It’s A Small World ride when we get there, right?).
Before I watched this particular offering, released smack bang at the very beginning of the Gorno frenzy, I was aware that it had been critically slaughtered (ha!) by fans and media types alike, but as a free thinking, trouser wearing, female of the modern age, I thought I’d give it a chance and make my own mind up.
Damn independent brain.
So the story is the first Hostel film (changed enough not to incite the big scary law suit), but instead of Europe, they thought they’d mix it up by having the kids travel to China. Quite a few racial stereotypes live there apparently, according to Live Feed (Dog burger anyone?) – very educational for the Daily Mail readers who are watching though, it’s exactly how you thought Asia would be (to be fair to the film makers, the American culture didn’t do very well out of this either ..).
The acting wasn’t the worst I’ve ever seen (but should be treated for wood worm every six months) and as for the script, well, I cant deny it had dialogue in there, but as crappy rip offs go, this one was extremely, goddamn crappy. For me to say that I enjoyed Hostel more, is a testament to how bad this film was, and how low I rate Hostel in general.
The violence was average, the characters really could have suffered more than they did (at least as much as I did watching it) and the FX looked like they could have fallen out of a Lucky Bag, and all this from a film I truly wanted to like.
Live Feed was straight to DVD, which isn’t always the sign of a film‘s quality, but if you want my advice, I’d bypass your DVD player and throw it straight into the bin.