Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hostel: Part III (2011)

I'm aware that I promised to get back to reviews earlier. In my defense: the fans in my computer were acting up. Now, onto business

There's four kinds of bad movies in horror: 1.) The kind of movie that's bad, knows it's bad, and celebrates it's badness to the dismay of the viewer, 2.) The kind that's nothing more than a cynical cash grab, 3.) The kind from an indie director whose trying his hardest, and 4.) The kind from a director whose doing what he can with the material given to him. Movie's #2 and # 4 are how I'd describe "Hostel: Part III": it feels like director Scott Spiegel is doing what he can with the material, but unfortunately, there's not much given to him. The end result can best be described as hollow.

Carter (Kip Pardue), Scott (Brian Hallisay) and their pals are off to Vegas, where they find themselves in a private party and some good times. Of course, things go south, and the next thing you know, the pals and two others find themselves in the cross hairs of the Elite Hunting Club.

There's only a few things worthy of note in this Eli Roth free entry in the "Hostel" series. A few of the performances are decent to good, the make-up and gore effects are actually not too bad, the score by Frederik Wiedmann is better than what you usually get in these kinds of movies and there's a great twist in the midway-point that's actually surprising. Apart from that, this is your standard-issue direct-to-video sequel, with more poor performances than good, a lack of imagination (well, outside of the fun camera angles), your standard issue poor plotting, and little if any actual enthusiasm.

Worst of all, it lacks the social commentary and black humor of the prior films. "Hostel" and it's sequel dealt with issues revolving around American ignorance and imperialistic arrogance towards other countries, as well as what would these days be described as "The 1% preying on the 99%." Here, you just get what feels like a relic from the mid 2000's. The movie is also more serious than the others, which is a shame. You don't get anything resembling memorable set-pieces (the "Elizabeth Bathory" scene in "Hostel II") or gallows humor (the street kids killing those pursuing the protagonist in "Hostel") here. Just a few semi-inspired moments scattered around a lot of boredom.

The best way to describe "Hostel: Part III" is that it feels like a studio flogging two dead horses. While I liked the first two, I wasn't pining for a direct-to-video sequel. Also, the "torture" genre is pretty much dead as far as popularity is concerned, as audiences have moved on to the likes of "Insidious" and the "Paranormal Activity" movies. This is a movie that ultimately has no real reason to exist.

Rating: 3/10

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