Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hostel analysis - part 3: Paxton gets closer to becoming a torturer


Eli Roth, director of Hostel. [Image from the Wikipedia 'Eli Roth' page; EliRothIBAug09 by Bev Moser, licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.]

In part 2 of the analysis, we left off with Paxton getting the upper hand with a man who had started to torture him, and then escaping from the room in which he was being held. Paxton proceeds to try and find his way out of the building he's in. While working his way through the corridors, he happens to enter the 'changing room' where newly-arrived clients (again, people who have paid to torture others) don the apparel they will need while torturing, such as aprons to keep their clothing from being splattered with blood. While Paxton is in this changing room, he begins to look around for something with which to disguise himself (by this point he has removed from his head, the helmet/mask disguise mentioned in part 2). He then hears someone else coming into the room, so he knows he must act quickly. He looks in a locker and finds a black coat resembling a trench coat, and a pair of black gloves, and quickly puts them on (the gloves are a necessary part of the disguise because some of his fingers had been cut off while he was being tortured; he doesn't need a mask here, since the room is just for the use of clients, and it is unlikely that any employees who may have earlier seen his face will enter the room).

When an American businessman (a client) comes into the room to get ready for his own session, he sees Paxton standing there in a coat and gloves and with a gun in his hand (recall that Paxton obtained the gun from the room where he had been starting to be tortured), so the businessman mistakenly assumes that Paxton is a client. He introduces himself to Paxton, then proceeds to go on at length about how much money he has paid for the opportunity to torture someone and about various other subjects pertaining to torturing, and even a little about his life's philosophy. He then begins to speak in detail about how he plans to conduct his torture session, and he also asks Paxton various questions. Paxton gives brief answers to these questions, answers which are consistent with what a client who has just tortured someone would say.

Finally, the businessman asks Paxton how his session went, i.e., whether it was a short torture session with Paxton killing the victim quickly, or with him drawing out the torture for a lengthy period of time. Paxton initially hesitates upon being asked this, then answers, "Quick." Note that this answer is consistent with him having the gun in his possession, and with the fact that he earlier shot his torturer with it. It makes things sound as if Paxton's brief session with his torturer was actually a session in which Paxton himself was the actual torturer (the American businessman is totally unaware of what actually transpired in the room Paxton was in).

The businessman becomes convinced that Paxton is a client who has just finished a session and is in the locker room changing back into his regular clothing, and that his session went quickly in that he shot his victim a short time into it. The point of this entire scene is not so much that Paxton has fooled the businessman, but rather, it is to suggest that Paxton is now like an actual torturer, in that he has, to at least some degree, acquired the mentality of one.


1) In certain instances it has been determined that the creators of some of the productions analyzed on this blog, and/or the creators of source material(s) used in the making of these productions, may be making negative statements about certain segments of society in their productions. These statements should be taken as expressing the opinions of no one other than the creators.

2) This blog is not associated with any of the studios, creators, authors, publishers, directors, actors, musicians, writers, editors, crew, staff, agents, or any other persons or entities involved at any stage in the making of any of the media productions or source materials that are analyzed, mentioned, or referenced herein.

3) In keeping with the policies of the filmmakers, authors, studios, writers, publishers, and musicians, that have created the productions (and their source materials) that are analyzed, mentioned, or referenced on this blog, any similarity of the characters in these films or source materials to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.


All images on this blog are used solely for non-commercial purposes of analysis, review, and critique.

All Wikipedia content on this blog, and any edits made to it, are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Marcus Aurelius's Meditations - from Wikisource (except where otherwise noted); portions from Wikisource used on this blog are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Saint Augustine's Confessions and City of God from Wikisource (except where otherwise noted); portions from Wikisource used on this blog are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Saint Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica from the 'Logos Virtual Library' website (except where otherwise noted), compiled and edited by Darren L. Slider; believed to be in public domain.