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Were you expecting this weekend's top box-office draw to once again be a photo-finish between King Kong and The Chronicles of Narnia?

Well, don't.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Saw it. It's porn.

I suppose if there is ANYTHING redeemable about it, it was that it may show the consequences of living lascivious lifestyles.

Brandon

"God is so great and merciful that he does not require that we name him precisely. God is even willing to be anonymous for a time. Remember how God led the Three Wise Men from the East to Christ? The Wise Men did not know the God of Israel or Jesus. They worshipped the stars. So God used a star to lure them."--The Twelve Steps for Christians

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So when the teens at my church are talking about seeing it, I should probably tell them to stay away?

The "It's porn" thing always gets me. I think I understand what you're saying, that it is violence for violence sake. It only appeals to the eye and brings a greater lust for more violence. But how is this different from other conventional horror films like Saw or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre? Give me a point of reference as to how (or IF) you think Hostel is more "pornographic" than other horror films you've seen.

-s.

Edited by stef

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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stef:

The "It's porn" thing always gets me. I think I understand what you're saying, that it is violence for violence sake. It only appeals to the eye and brings a greater lust for more violence. But how is this different from other conventional horror films like Saw or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre? Give me a point of reference as to how (or IF) you think Hostel is more "pornographic" than other horror films you've seen.

You know, whenever I see something "artistic" being labeled as "porn" I always think about an essay I read by Umberto Eco describing the differences between the two. I forget most of the specifics, but it boiled down to art is telling the story of how a character gets from point A to point B, whereas porn is not so concerned about how said person gets from point A to point B, as all the "dirty" details of what happens at point B.

At least, I think that's how it went...

"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

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Well, I can say this: every time I watched the trailer and saw the TV spots, I wondered how in the world such things had been approved for general audiences. They made me want to puke or throw things at the screen. If I had kids, I wouldn't want them to even be aware such a thing existed.

That's just how eye roll.

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[Homer Simpson voice] Mmmmmmmm... horror porn. [/Homer]

That's funny. Good one. LOL!

Aside from how it just assaults you with violence, the story, I thought was REALLY corny. Some guys going around Europe to find "chicks." They're told to go to Slovakia (sp?) where they can find some "REALLY GOOD ONES." Like they're in Amsterdam! And even if they weren't there, like, I don't know, is there something "special" about those babes in Slovakia (or Amsterdam for that matter) as opposed to ones in your own back yard? Look, if that is all your shallow life is about, then what difference does it make anyway?

Brandon

"God is so great and merciful that he does not require that we name him precisely. God is even willing to be anonymous for a time. Remember how God led the Three Wise Men from the East to Christ? The Wise Men did not know the God of Israel or Jesus. They worshipped the stars. So God used a star to lure them."--The Twelve Steps for Christians

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On a probably completely unrelated note, I actually prefer staying at hostels over motels/hotels. They're usually much cheaper and I get the feeling of being more interactive with the natives (and no, I don't mean the "chicks").

:P

"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

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By the way, there's a lively conversation about this film and "horror porn" over at Looking Closer right now, and Scott Derrickson has joined the party. Y'all're invited.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Maybe this is my own hang up, but even the worst horror movie I can walk out of feeling that it was at its base merely artifice. I feel much worse watching a documentary like PBS 'Country Boys' (which is terrific) because it's using someone's real life and pain as entertainment. I feel conflicted in this because at the end of the day, nothing was make believe, unlike even the worst "horror porn."

Stealing! How could you? Haven't you learned anything from that guy who gives those sermons at church? Captain whats-his-name.

- Homer

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I haven't bothered to pay attention to this film, but I did just quickly skim this Thomas Hibbs review/analysis of it, and the column is full of wisdom. One thing I didn't buy from Hibbs was this:

By far the most effective filmmaker working in the hybrid genre of horror comedy is Quentin Tarantino, but even he now seems terribly dated.

--I was beginning to think the same thing until I saw the Kill Bills. The guy may be at the top of his form right now.

But back to the article's larger points, which are well stated:

One cannot understate the explicit, senseless gore in these films, much worse for their being void of the sort of artistic indirection found in Tarantino

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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  • 1 year later...

We don't have a thread for the second Hostel film, and I don't know if it's worth starting one.

Just thought I'd post a link to my blog, where I put together a kind of long essay that stems from some thoughts I had on these movies and others like them. The posters were disturbing, the second film opens tonight, and it all got me thinking.

Here's my link. FWIW.

-"I... drink... your... milkshake! I drink it up!"

Daniel Plainview, There Will Be Blood

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