Horror Movie Survival Randy Meeks style: Eli Roth’s Hostel


This week, let’s take Randy Meeks’ rules to successfully survive a horror movie for a visit to the realm of gore with Eli Roth’s Hostel.

So far on this column, we’ve visited some good ol’ metal vampires, a coming-of-age horror movie, a teenage horror story and a sci-fi horror movie about a viral outbreak. Feels appropriate to visit another sub-genre, one that tends to be heavily criticized for its brutal visuals: gore. And the chosen subject is Hostel.

With seven movies as director, and a bunch as producer and actor, Eli Roth has earned his place as one of the modern “masters of horror,” and his second movie, Hostel, was the one that sealed the deal. If you want a movie that will make you slightly paranoid about going backpacking to another country, will make you yell at the screen (that might be just me, though), and one with a generous amount of blood and gore and a hint of psychological horror: Hostel is the one for you.

Also, Randy would be proud of this one. Let’s get to it.

Hostel in a Nutshell

Paxton (Jay Hernández) and Josh (Derek Richardson), best friends, go on a backpacking trip across Europe where they meet Oli (Eythor Gudjonsson). The trio stops in Amsterdam where a local guy tells them about the pleasures and excesses they can get in Slovakia. And so they travel there, only to be met by some not pleasant at all surprises.

As always, here’s your reminder on Randy’s rules: you can never have sex, you can never drink or do drugs, and never (ever) under any circumstances say “I’ll be right back.” Let me tell you: Paxton, Josh, and Oli wished they had known about this.

Rule: You Can Never Drink or Do Drugs

This is the start of everything. Right from the beginning, there’s a reference to them being in Amsterdam just to smoke weed. That might have not been their number one purpose there but that’s what they did anyway.

After smoking some pot, the three friends, high as kites, go clubbing. This takes us to the next rule

— Courtesy of Lions Gate Films

Rule: You Can Never Have Sex

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Once in the club, Oli disappears and sends a selfie to Paxton and Josh to brag about him having sex in the bathroom. Bad move, Oli. After a couple of drinks and still as high as a backpacker in Amsterdam can be, they go to a brothel, with the main purpose of having Josh hook up with a European girl.

Josh backs out, while Paxton and Josh are in another room watching some random people going at it. Because of all this, they go back to the hostel they’re staying at a little too late. Yes: there was a curfew, and they completely forgot about it.

But what do you know: people in Amsterdam are so nice, this guy named Alexei lets them stay at his place. Once there, Alexei asks them if they are in Europe to get girls, to which they say “yes.” Alexei tells them about a hostel in Slovakia where they can get all the women they want. Of course they take a train to Slovakia the next day.

Now, once there, they share a room with two girls: Natalya and Svetlana. The boys and their roomies go out and they all take drugs (a small, tiny pill). Paxton ends up with Svetlana, Josh with Natalya, and Oli leaves with the hostel’s desk girl, Vala. The next morning, Oli is nowhere to be found. And so the madness begins.

That’s not the end of it, though. Paxton and Josh go out with the girls again, taking us back to the previous rule. A few drinks here and there and they are given tranquilizers; and the nightmare begins for the remaining friends.

You’ll see: if they hadn’t had a night of excess and a thirst for more excess, they wouldn’t have been involved in a “murder vacation” situation. Randy warned us about this, guys.


Basically, if they hadn’t had drugs, the rest of the movie wouldn’t have happened, and the three of them would have lived. But OK: anyone can miss a curfew, especially when on vacation. So let’s give them a pass on that one.

However, accepting drugs from a complete stranger, no matter how attractive they may be, is always a bad idea. Oli could have lived, but they made some bad decisions there. An even worse decision was staying one more night to go out with the same girls again, just because they wanted to sleep with them one last time. It was a recipe for disaster, but they didn’t see that.

And now, let’s say it together: Randy was right, and the rules would have heavily impacted the outcome of this movie.

Next. Eli Roth's History of Horror celebrates slashers. dark

Think Hostel fits Randy’s Rules?” Which movies should we apply the horror nut’s rules to next? Let us know!