maanantai 16. marraskuuta 2009

Bad PR for Slovakia because of Hollywood

Hostel (2005) and Hostel II (2007) are two horror movies. The main plot of both movies takes place in Slovakia. The story is about a youth hostel where innocent backpacker tourists were cached and then sold to people who can satisfy their abnormal needs. They pay money for killing those tourists.


The problem was the PR gag how the movie was advertised. The producers and every poster told that the plot based on true events. So the audience got the impression that it is quite dangerous to travel through Eastern Europe. Slovakian politicians criticized the movie because of the fact that their home land is shown as a corrupted and a shabby country in both movies. Director Eli Roth got an invitation to get to know the country better but he disapproved.

„Movies, for the most part, are free publicity for the tourist board of any country featured on the big screen: People see the movie and want to visit the country.
But what happens when the plot of the movie involves backpackers who are kidnapped for the sport of torture, dismemberment and murder? This was the idea behind last summer's horror flick, Hostel.

The unlucky country in which the story takes place is Slovakia. Obviously the depiction of tourists being brutally murdered for fun and profit in quaint little Slovakia didn't sit well with local residents (even though the movie was filmed in neighboring Czech Republic).
Director Eli Roth received his share of hate mail over his slanderous depiction of a Slovakia far more screwed up than it actually is, populated by lunatic sadists, throngs of gypsy children, and bleak surroundings.

So, what is he doing now? Filming Hostel II, of course.“

Taken from:

Transsiberian was another horror movie in 2008. It tells the story about a couple who is travelling with the transsiberian train trough Russia and gets a lot of problems with the citizens and the corrupted executive. I guess movies like this, help to produce bad bias and make bad PR for the country in which the plot takes place.


Tobias Hofferbert

3 kommenttia:

  1. Hi!!
    interesting post!! I wonder if it actually affects tourism negatively.. Are there any statistics or is it too early to say if there is a decrease in tourism because of the film?


  2. I second Maria's question. Also Borat was highly criticized by the government of Kazakhastan but the movie affected positively to country's tourism, like you can read from the blog of group 4 (

    Also a lot of horror movies are situated in USA and I don't think those are considered as a bad PR which has influenced negatively to USA's image.

    Are we so afraid of bad publicity that we are already starting to restrain films and other arts? How about trusting peoples common sence...

  3. You're right that horror movies do not influence the image about America that much BUT this the Hostel movies very imbeded into a stereotype Eastern Europe atmosphere. Police is corrupted and even children are criminals. So I understand why Slovakian people think it's bad PR for their country.