Photo: Way Too Indie

Why <I>Hostel</i> Is the Stupidest Travel Movie of All Time

by Eytan Levy Feb 13, 2014

“OMG dude, haven’t you seen Hostel? Aren’t you scared you’re going to get kidnapped and killed in the middle of the night like all those film actors in that one fictional movie?”

No, I am not afraid of my hostel owner gutting me with a knife in my sleep, and nor should you be. Because travel is safe, you ask? Nay. Travel is not always safe. But that is due to a rather flagrantly obvious and deviously simple truth: Life isn’t safe.

Nothing ever is. Risks are all around us, and there’s no telling when you might just trip over a condom wrapper left in the street and smash your face against a telephone pole and splatter your brains all over the pavement some idiot used as an impromptu toilet the evening immediately prior.

But let me tell you something: A hostel is the absolute safest place a backpacker can possibly find him or herself whilst imbibing the alcoholic and experiential gifts a foreign land can bestow. Allow me to explain why…

A hostel is filled with an army of youthful citizens at the peak of the physical capability.

In few other circumstances can a victimized young target of violence be more readily defended than in a 42-bed dorm room populated by boundlessly muscular, heavily intoxicated young gentlemen whose current physique stands at the uppermost echelon of what they will ever achieve in their lifetime. And with impossibly indigestible quantities of alcoholic substances coursing through their veins, their diminished ability to process the sensation of physical pain will render them nearly impervious to the danger posed by any assailant wielding a melee weapon of any kind.

Of the utmost importance in this particular case, however, is the insatiable desire to defend the livelihood of helpless young ladies anywhere to be found, in a perhaps misguided, though entirely appreciated attempt to obtain the endorsement of their reproductive quality control guidelines in the aims of potentially engaging in post-traumatic reproductive recreational activities shortly following the incident of horrific danger.

They will be there for you. And they will win.

Someone’s always awake.

Seriously, have you even been in a hostel? It is a chaotic inferno of constantly coming, going, talking, drinking, shouting, zipping and unzipping, buckling and unbuckling, and crinkling of crinkly clothing into which no self-respecting Psycho enthusiast would dare attempt wade.

And even in the unlikely event that 100% of hostel dorm room occupants are simultaneously unconscious, even Usain Bolt would find it a daunting challenge to speedily make his way from one bed to the next, climbing atop loudly creaking bunk beds one after another, thus slowing his progress and rendering the task unlikely to be completed by the time half a dozen strapping young gentlemen awake from their slumber.

For a description of the aftermath that would ensue, refer back to objection #1.

He won’t be able to collect your bill.

…and your 85-liter pack full of soiled clothing is the last thing you’ll find on his holiday wishlist, below elephant feces and Betamax devices.

What of your laptop, you say? He’s probably got one already anyway, and it would be a rather not-lucrative business to lose out on the cash he’d get from the bill you owe just to sell a deteriorating machine of diminishing value which you might not even have anyway. Plus, who’s going to give him a 5-star review on Hostelworld? Not you!

Can you imagine the hassle of removing a body from a hostel dorm room, not to mention the already-irritating hassle of having killed someone, silently enough that no one notices, paying for its disposal, and then selling a cheap laptop on the open market on a regular basis, all the while losing out on a continuous stream of hostel-dwelling bill-payers whose only significant upkeep consists of ongoing sheet laundering? Seems to me like this guy is an incompetent businessman, and if such is the case, he’s probably an incompetent serial killer, too. So no worries.

Here are some movie titles more appropriate than “Hostel.”

You know what that movie should have been called? Hotel. Think about it. What does a hotel have that a hostel doesn’t?

  • Seclusion: You’re all alone in that eerily quiet room of yours, with no one to defend your defenseless little body.
  • Locks: What the hell good is a hostel door going to do when an easily lockable hotel door will keep other suspicious guests from making a timely entrance?
  • Cold, uncaring guests: Have you ever broken down the door of a hotel room to defend a fellow guest against the murderous hand of a homicidal hotelier? No, I didn’t think so. You’d probably tell yourself the guy in the other room is just watching a scary movie anyway. Like Hostel.

They could have just called the damn thing Bed and Breakfast and it would have made a whole lot more sense. Who would ever suspect the innocent and charming elderly lady running a precious and adorable little B&B on the edge of a small town? No one, that’s who. And it’s always the people you least suspect that you’ve got to watch out for.

This post was originally published at Snarky Nomad and is reprinted here with permission.

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