“Fucking Americans”: Postmodern Nationalisms in the Contemporary Splatter Film
journal contributionposted on 22.05.2017, 04:30 by Phoebe Fletcher
In Eli Roth's 2005 film Hostel, two American frat boys and an Icelander are let loose on an archane and sexually licentious Europe. Lured to a hostel in Bratislava, Slovakia by the prospect of nymphomaniac women who just "love Americans," the trio slowly discover they have booked themselves in as victims for a torture chamber where the wealthy live out their sadistic fantasies by creatively murdering innocent tourists. Hostel presents dark images of the flipside of capitalism; a world where the fall of communism has led not to the fruits of capitalist labour but instead plunged Eastern Europe into a terrifying trade where life is easily bought and sold. Part of an ultraviolent wave of splatter films seen as driving a 78% rise in domestic horror box office profits from 2003-2006, Hostel controversially combined dystopian representations of capitalism with the detailed exposition of brutal violence.