Final Girl: Beth (Hostel II)
Hostell II a film by Eli Roth
Final Girl: Beth
Beth is a typical Final Girl in Eli Roth's sequel to the movie Hostel. Now, the sequel, Hostel II doesn't veer very far away from the original film, but with Paxton out of the picture in the scenarios here, a new Final Girl is needed by Roth and Tarantino (executive director).
Hostel II is set in the same area, a sort of generic place in Slovakia, Europe - and in this film, someone is coaxing American travellers to a torture warehouse facility to realize their end in gruesome ways...only this time, the victims are primarily young and beautiful women. Beth and friends fall into the hands of covert manipulator/scouts who lure travellers to the warehouse for a significant price.
The victims are essentially "auctioned" off to the highest killer/bidder, and Beth, along with her two American friends, Whitney and Lorna, are "purchased" quickly on this deadly, secret market.
Beth shows her Final Girl qualities very early on and is a typical Final Girl with few surprises or twists. The Tarantino/Roth film-maker combination rely on twists in the mechanics of death and gore in this film, rather than character/trope twists, so the film-makers leave well enough alone, the important and effective archetype-character conventions here. This is a good thing in a "gore" film because really - truly - the audience has enough discomfort to deal with in viewing the grisly scenes rather than to be dealing with examining metaphorical qualities of characters. Perhaps the only comforting thing involved with viewing this movie is the fact that once viewers identify that Beth is the Final Girl, she performs exactly as she should and doesn't mess with viewers' headspace!
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Plot in 50 Words or Less
Enter victims with final girl - manipulation - killing, loss of final girl's friends - final girl resourcefulness - more killing - final girl turns tables - more killing - more final girl resourcefulness - more killing - tons of blood and gore - final girl exits of her own accord.
Alright - just kidding. It's not quite that simple. There is a lot more GORE needed above, actually.
In the original, first film, Hostel, transients (primarily, American backpackers) are being scooped up into a murderous auction process in a backward, isolated region of Slovakia, Europe. The purchasers also buy the right to torture the victim bought by auction. The company running this heinous auction business is called "Elite Hunting," and those who become involved with this company all sign into a very stringent and particular contract with Elite Hunting. This includes a mark that Elite Hunting places on them for life - a particular tattoo goes on the body of all killers who participate and no person who enters into the agreement is permitted to leave the warehouse without performing 'a kill.' This last requirement comes into focus more prominently in Hostel II than in the first movie.
Hostel II begins with Beth and friends, Whitney and Lorna, who are vacationing in Europe together during a break from art College or University studies. The peers have actually been studying art in a program in Rome, Italy - but decide to see other parts of Europe as a break from studies. Unfortunately, the decide to visit an area in Slovakia that is isolated and, well, full of Elite Hunting psycho killers. The girls' bad luck doesn't actually start with their decision and location they select. There is actually an Elite Hunting scout who is covertly placed in Rome, within the elite education circles, as the nude model the girls are sketching/painting. This scout actually turns the girls toward Slovakia and death - by inviting them on a spa retreat - as soon as she overhears their plans for taking a little break from studies.
Axelle, the covert scout, travels with the girls to an isolated village in Slovakia. When they check into lodging at the local Hostel, their passport photos and information are secretly and immediately uploaded to the Elite Hunting database and before they even settle into their room, their pictures and details have entered the bidding processes of the Elite Hunting human auction.
Axelle and the girls partake of the local "Harvest Festival" on the first night of their arrival to the Hostel and the (unnamed) village in Slovakia. This is when the killing begins and is also when our Final Girl shows her stuff!
Final Girl, Beth...in usual final girl style - is very careful about who she talks to (final girl caution) and about her intake of alcoholic beverages (final girl purity). She does ingest a little cider but (final girl nurturing) warns her friends not to get too carried away with the cider. She also dumps a glass of cider or beer on the ground - well, actually onto someone's feet because he is standing too close to her - which shows off Beth's "final girl purity" some more.
Final Girl, Beth, inadvertently seals her "Final Girl" status when she apologizes to the man who ended up wearing her beverage. This is the moment when "History" begins for the final girl and the threat...for the man who ended up with beverage on his feet had just won a bid of a certain type earlier in the day. "History between the final girl and her stalker" is solidified when the threat/man, in a regular act of proper convention, runs to get Beth another drink. Now here, Beth must accept the drink or else she'll offend the man, even though she has CLEARLY decided that, for her, drinking is not right. She shares very brief, polite conversation and sips her drink when the man returns with drinks, and her sips mark a very symbolic point of history between her and the man who is in the killer role.
Lorna is first to go. She's a totally 'square' persona but she ends up having too much to drink. The alcohol clouds her decision-making (Yo! our Final Girl warned you, Lorna tsk-tsk!) and she allows herself to be led away from the other girls, as well as away from the general public area where the festival is going on...
As I viewed this movie, I wanted to yell: "By the way, Lorna...you transgressed beyond two of our final girl's warnings...she also TOLD YOU not to go far away! Tsk-tsk! I now wipe my hands of you - nobody can help you now."
So Lorna becomes the victim of a person known as 'Mrs. Bathory' in the script. Mrs. Bathory, as her name indicates, is all about bathing in blood...which turns out to be Lorna's blood.
Gross...I couldn't bring myself to watch the full scene, to tell you the truth - and I suggest to anyone who isn't into such gore - just peek out a little bit (like I do OFTEN!) between your fingers as you cover your eyes with your hands.
It appears that I'll give all the spoilers of this film away if I continue to outline all the Final Girl moments in as detailed a way as I have thus far.
Trust me - our Final Girl, Beth - is a true and conventional Final Girl right up to the end...with a little twist at the end that SOME movie enthusiasts will say is a twist that makes our Final Girl - finally - non-conventional.
I do not agree.
Beth is forced to make a decision near the end of the movie. I say the decision/twist makes her a conventional final girl - willing to live with tough decisions and actions she takes. Some people from other schools of thought will say that the decision made and action taken by Beth actually VIOLATES the "purity" convention of a final girl.
Here's how I found a site so I could watch Hostel II for free online:
I typed the movie name into ovguide.com and turned up links where the movie is located for free viewing online.
TheCritics.tv - Andrews Review of Hostel II (Andrew Recommends It - Positive Review)
Written and Directed by Eli Roth
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Awards and Nominations: 4 nominations
- nomination at 2008 Golden Trailer Awards "Best Thriller TV Spot" (For "Big Drill")
- nomination at 2007 Teen Choice Awards "Choice Movie: Horror/Thriller"
- 2008 2 Razzie Award Nominations: 1 for "Worst Excuse For a Horror Movie," 1 for "Worst Prequel or Sequel"
Cast (Character, then actor/actress):
- Beth - Lauren German
- Stuart - Roger Bart
- Lorna - Heather Matarazzo
- Whitney - Bijou Phillips
- Todd - Richard Burgi
- Axelle - Vera Jordanova
- Paxton - Jay Hernandez
- Stephanie - Jordan Ladd
- Sasha - Milan Knazko
- Art Class Professor - Edwige Fenech
- Miroslav - Stanislav Ianevski
- Bubblegum Gang Leader - Patrik Zigo
- Inya - Zuzana Geislerová
- Big Guard - Ivan Furak
- Mrs. Bathory - Monika Malacova
Released in Canada June 8, 2007.
Watch this You Tube video with some clips from the movie and a few words from Eli Roth and some of the cast:
Hub Challenge Hub #7
This lens is part of a March 2010 Hub Challenge I'm doing. I started March 1 and have a personal goal to publish at least 60 hubs over the month of March.
To check out how I'm doing, see my challenge hub, link below:
This hub is part of a series on "Final Girls" and the series will contain no less than 7 Final Girl personalities once my Hub Challenge goal is realized.