I keep thinking I'll come up with something more interesting to say about Eli Roth's Hostel. The time has indeed come to acknowledge that I don't.
I thought Roth's debut, Cabin Fever, was a decently funny teen comedy that turned into a remarkably boring horror movie. I found myself hoping that he'd move on to making movies like The Last American Virgin, which he stated an admiration for on the commentary for that movie.
Hostel turned that around completely. It's a pretty uninvolving movie about pretty unpleasant bunch of guys trying to have sex in Europe. I spent most of that time wishing for the moment when I'd finally get to see those assholes get tortured.
That said, he does actually bring that around and get me to have some sympathy for them by the time the horrors involved begin and that half is a giant improvement.
Unfortunately, I think somewhere in here is a Peeping Tom style meta-movie in which the viewer is invited to watch torture and then condemned for it. His attachment to the earlier story and letting it develop keeps it from achieving that.
Ultimately, he moved from making a movie that I admired aspects of but basically didn't like to making a movie that I wanted to like more but have to give a tepid recommendation to, so he's moving up in the world. Good job.