Thanks to director Eli Roth and his creative imagination, the 2005 film Hostel is now considered one of the new classic slasher horror movies. The movie was so good that it became an instant hit. But did you know why Slovakia hated the movie?
Hostel negatively affected tourism in Slovakia as it was portrayed as a poor, corrupt, and crime-filled country. Eli Roth was invited to take an all-expense-paid trip to help clear the false identity of the country.
Eli Roth’s Inspiration for Hostel
The 2005 horror and slasher film Hostel was written, produced, and directed by Eli Roth. The movie follows a group of American college students, Paxton and Josh, backpacking across the European continent. While partying in Amsterdam, they meet a curious individual who tells them about a hostel in Slovakia that is housing attractive backpackers and is nearby the local clubs.
As expected, the students proceed to the hostel where they party and have fun, not knowing that it was just a front for a twisted torture enterprise. The hostel accommodates wealthy individuals looking for their ultimate high, paying to kill unknowing guests.
Naturally, the two college students wake up and find themselves bound in a room, awaiting their fate and wealthy killers. As one of them escapes, he discovers that the whole sleepy town is conniving to make the sick secret club prosper.
According to the director, his inspiration for the film started when he spoke with Harry Knowles, a film critic and host of the website Ain’t It Cool News. The two talked about the crazy and gory stuff they see on the internet. They started with a guy in Texas they found online who set up a website where one pays to control a gun and hunt animals in the comfort of their own homes.
Roth then imagined what if they put human beings in a room and kill them, and Knowles found a site that did just that. According to the host, he found a website where one can go to Thailand and simply pay $10,000 to walk into a room and shoot someone there. What’s more disturbing is that the victims sign up for it because part of the fee goes to their families, who were mostly broke.
Roth discovered that the website was real but it asked for credit card information before anyone could get into it. He didn’t dare to get in for fear of them obtaining his personal information, and he might become a target for this creepy business. (Source: Lad Bible)
How Did the Film Impact Slovakia’s Tourism?
Roth’s film garnered positive reviews in the US. It set the bar higher for gory slasher films. Hostel took the top spot, beating Chronicles of Narnia and King Kong on its opening weekend. American viewers loved the movie, but the film received an entirely different reception when it opened in Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
According to reports, many Slovaks and Czechs deeply despised the movie. They saw the depiction of their country as a slanderous attack by Roth. The film showed Slovakia how Americans would imagine it. Roth researched and discovered that most Americans did not know where Slovakia was. They just knew that it was some country in Europe.
The Slovaks didn’t like how Roth portrayed the country as a backward and corrupt country. They even complained to the Culture Ministry, stating that it may affect the country’s tourism as the movie depicted police officers as evil and the abundance of loose women. (Source: English Radio)