Because when I think “torture porn,” I immediately think “good-time family fun.” Don’t you?! Horror auteur Eli Roth is teaming up with Universal Studios to create a theme-park riff on his 2005 genre-reviving film, Hostel. “Eli Roth’s Hostel: Hunting Season,” takes its bloody bow at Universal Studios’ Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights on Sept. 23 and will run through Halloween.
According to a press release from Universal Studios, “The maze will re-imagine the film’s dehumanizing torture chambers and send guests on a spiraling journey through the corrupt halls of Elite Hunting’s torture factory.” Just in case you’re not totally up-to-date on your fictive snuff organizations, Elite Hunting is “a secret society that tortures and kills American youth for sport in exchange for large sums of money.” Sounds like perfect fodder for a theme park, right?
Roth adds, “People will have a chance to experience some exact moments from their favorite Hostel scenes, along with some new surprises.” (For extra kicks, the filmmaker says he might even dress up as a torturer during the gasp-tacular six-week run.)
Clearly this venture is designed to be adult fun, so the idea of a kiddie-park attraction should fly out of your head like so many young American brains after a close encounter with the mace of one of Roth’s Slovakian maniacs. That said, Halloween Horror Nights technically has no age minimum, though Universal does “strongly urge” parents with children under 13 to reconsider attending. Do you think there will be a sign in front of the maze that reads, “You must be at least this tall (and this twisted) to enter”?
Either way, this development is one I didn’t see coming: Hostel meets Make-a-Wish? Is the experience of being bound, gagged, and gutted something that people are really keen on going through first-hand? Maybe Last House on the Left can get in on the action, partnering with NOLS to provide “a truly unforgettable weekend of camping… and more”? Or perhaps there’s a state of Texas-RedMax tie-in looming in the distance for Chainsaw Massacre lovers to win their very own dream house (complete with decked-out dungeon!)?
So, horrorphiles, I can officially say, “Welcome to your nightmare.” What do you think? Is this idea so whacked that it’s awesome all over again? Or are you feeling queasy just thinking about it? If so, you can be sure Roth would be perversely validated.