Eli Roth Diaries: ‘Hostel: Part II’ “By Far The Best Thing I’ve Ever Made”

Eli Roth has been documenting the making of “Hostel: Part II” with a series of diary entries for MTV. Yesterday he discussed his battles and unlikely friendship with the MPAA. Today Roth talks about hearing the final sound mix for the film for the first time.

Once the film’s cut, we mix the sound, which is what I’ve been doing at the Alfred Hitchcock Stage at Universal Studios for the past two weeks. Our mixers, Chris Jenkins and Frankie Montano, are awesome, and just did “300,” amongst other films. They’re amazing. My sound guys — Brian Best, Kami Asgar and Sean McCormack — are doing all the sound design, continuing the work they did from the first “Hostel.” I worked again with my composer Nathan Barr, who I have worked with since “Cabin Fever,” and he did another brilliant, terrifying score.

I obsess over every sound detail, and have to hear every single branch crack, footstep, and knife stab in every scene before we mix it. If something doesn’t sound right in my mind’s ear it will drive me crazy, and Brian will go and search for the sound until he has it exactly. The simplest sound can make a scene scary, even when you never intended to have it there in the first place. We can add a door creak or a metal scrape to an empty room, and suddenly it feels more creepy. You can’t really explain it, you just have to feel it. We just played back the film and listened to all the reels all mixed. It was horrifying. Some of the scenes sound so beautiful you could just lie there and listen to the music for hours, and other scenes are so horrific and painful you’re certain the screams will give you nightmares. But seeing the film today I felt a great sense of inner peace. It was the first time I’d seen the film all together, with music and sound effects.

I finally got to hear the movie as it’s going to sound in a theater, and it sounds amazing. You guys are going to love it. I feel it’s by far the best film I’ve ever made, and will even win over my most die-hard internet message-board haters, of which I have heard there are a couple… ahem… But the fans are going to love it. And we can all thank the MPAA for helping keep the film scary. And bloody. My God is it bloody…

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