and so, to celebrate the first weekend of la nouvelle annee, my friend and i decided to save 'memoires of a geisha' for when we can all get together, and decided to see the quentin tarantino-stamped 'hostel.' let's just say that it was no coincidence that 'hostel' sounds a gosh darn lot like 'hostile.'

three backpacking friends - two from the u.s. and the third from ireland - decide to explore amsterdam together. they meet this happy character with a bright, annoying eager smile who invites them to a remote city where they can get as much girls, drugs and happylife as they want.

they take a lengthy train ride where they encounter this strange character who likes to eat chicken salad with his shaky hands. he freaks them out by saying, "i like eating with my hands. i think people have lost that connection, with our natural states."

the friends get off a remote station and ride a cab through factories and small towns. they arrive at a beautiful, picturesque city straight out of a postcard. they check into a youth hostel that serves international clientele. they meet two asian women, and get to room with two beautiful slavic women who cater to the u.s. ideal that european women have no shame.

on the second day, their irish friend disappears.

that night, one of the two friends wakes up in a dark room with all the pincers, forks, chain saws, drills, scissors, scalpels, knives and all the sharp, pointy objects your mama told you to stay away from. tables and tables of them. he's hooded and scans the room though holes in the hood. he's chained to his seat. he doesn't recognize any of the objects. the room is dirty and it might even smell. he hears muffled screaming in the distance.

we won't know what that building is, only that his other friend ends up in the same place, lead by the leash by the girl he slept with the night before. she laughs, "i make a lot of money on you," in that lovely slavic accent of hers.

it ends with the friend, paxton, rescuing another hosteller, an asian woman named kana. her eye is gouged out. paxton's right ring finger and pinkie are severed off. kana sees her reflection and throws herself into the path of a rail service engine chugging past the station at high speed. paxton has no choice but to take advantage of the police's distraction, and escape into the train leading to town.

i'll just stop torturing you with spoilers here and say that paxton rendered justice in the end... but justice is relative. so is recovery, and the reasons why one would relish the rush of seeing someone in pain. and why one would fear torture, instead of death. in this movie, death is a welcome reprieve. death brings peace.

like what professor lupin told harry potter - he is afraid of fear itself.

which made me wonder, if i had gobs, lashings, oodles, piles, rafts, scads, slews, stacks, tons, wads of money that i didn't know what to do with, where would i spend it? i have the power to buy the world's most tilltillating things - and what would i do if i get bored? shall i travel to remote hostels and mingle with beautiful people and pass the days paying for a room equipped to make someone scream?

scream bloody pleas, i mean. pleas to stop, stop, stop!

good movie, unless you are eating popcorn. my friend and i had prawns and sushi beforehand, and i had my calming tea. i'm just glad that food stayed in my stomach, hehehehe. i was ready to walk out of the theater twice, but i stayed because it is probably the only movie i will ever see that discusses horror and the dark limits of human nature in such explicit film language (photography and dialogue), and because i was really curious how paxton and his friends will end this story.
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gromit is curious

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