Eli Roth’s ‘Hostel’ not a stay at the Holiday Inn

By Jess Wagner

Pulse Editor

When Eli Roth sat down to draft up his next big horror film, he drew from the things that scared him the most.

After working with an all-star cast of directors and producers including Mike Fleiss (“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”), Chris Briggs (“Godsend”) and Quentin Tarantino (“Kill Bill”), Roth’s final project, “Hostel,” is an all-encompassing film of sex, murder and torture.

“I use things that scare me,” Roth said. “It’s definitely a real thing out there that there are people so bored that hookers, drugs and strip clubs don’t do anything for them and they are so numb that nothing excites them, so they turn to things like murder. That scares me.”

Roth got his big break in 2002 at the Toronto Film Festival with the debut of “Cabin Fever.”

Though the film was produced on a mere $1.5 million budget, Roth opened the film to high commercial success, as it opened in more than 2,000 theaters nationwide.

“The success of ‘Cabin Fever’ opened every door for me,” Roth said. “Suddenly, I had every opportunity in the world.”

Now, Roth is seeing even more success with “Hostel.” According to bloomberg.com, “Hostel” raked in $20.1 million last weekend.

“Nobody makes anything to fail; you make it to succeed,” Roth said. “And the fact that Quentin Tarantino was involved, that’s a victory. Most movies take 5 years to make, but I did everything in a 12-month period.”

Roth’s background in film has helped him to produce a low-budget film in a short period of time. After graduating from New York University’s film program, Roth bounced around from film to film before settling in to film production for about 10 years.

“I think you’re born with it,” Roth said of his interest in the arts. “My mother is an artist, but my father is a doctor. I think I just have that blood and that gene in my body. I’ve always been fascinated with films.”

Whether it’s his genes or his training that have prepared him for a career in film, Roth said he couldn’t have directed the film without the help of his crew. Getting the picture of what was in his head onto a film projector was harder than some people think.

“When you’re making a movie, it’s a black canvas and you have the idea of the movie in your head-you’re the only one who’s seen the movie, so it’s good to have people around you that you trust,” Roth said of his crew. “I just had great people around me that I could turn to for advice.”

In the near future, Roth will be working on directing projects, including a teen comedy titled “Scavenger Hunt” and a psychological thriller, “The Box.”

Now that production and work for “Hostel” is over, Roth is sitting back and enjoying his hard work. When he’s not getting enjoyment behind the scenes calling the shots, he gets his fulfillment in another way.

“The best part is seeing [“Hostel”] with an audience and seeing people pass out and vomit,” Roth said with a laugh. “Seeing people applaud and pass out is by far the best part.”