“Hostel: Part III”: A Losing Bet for Horror Fans

A few weeks ago in my review for “Wrong Turn 4” I mentioned how horror fans are willing to watch just about anything. They live and die in the horror genre. “Sure “Wrong Turn 3″ sucked but 4 has to be at least a little bit better…right?” It doesn’t matter how many awful sequels we get, we are more than willing to watch another one. The same is true for direct-to-dvd horror. Mostly just franchises the studios realize they can no longer make money at the cinemas with, they cut the budget, release it on dvd, and watch the profits come in.

Case in point, today’s entry in the direct-to-dvd horror sequel lottery, “Hostel: Part III.” I will confess that I was not the biggest fan of the original “Hostel.” I found the characters to be obnoxiously shallow and its 45 minutes of nudity mixed with 45 minutes of gore just didn’t sit well with me. Nonetheless, I was pleasantly surprised by just how good “Hostel: Part II” was. It took all of the mistakes about the first one (unlikable characters, no villain backstory, too much nudity) and turned out to be a delicious black comedy with a perfect ending. Now, we have “Hostel: Part III.” Does it live up to the expectations set by the second entry or does it die trying like the original?

“Hostel: Part III” begins with a fake out that is actually pretty ingenious. A young man is brought back to a hotel room by a slutty blond stripper and her beefy, bald boyfriend. One thing leads to another and two of them end up drugged and taken away. To say which two would ruin the surprise. Next, we have a group of four friends attending a bachelor party in Las Vegas. These characters are the typical beer guzzling, horny jocks that have become standard place in most horror movies and comedies today. Seriously it is that hard to write likable characters? I guess so. Okay, not off to a good start and we are only fifteen minutes into the movie. The overgrown frat boys are enticed by two sexy escorts to join them at a private party off the Strip. Because, as we all now, whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Once there, they are horrified to find themselves the subjects of a perverse game of torture, where members of the Elite Hunting Club are hosting the most sadistic show in town.

Blah, blah, blah. “Hostel: Part III” brings nothing new to the torture table besides a few half-hearted twists and some lame deaths. What is the point in watching a “Hostel” film if nearly ALL of the deaths occur off screen? Not only that, but the few deaths that we actually do get to see are ruined by awful CGI. Note to filmmakers, CGI is easier and cheaper but note that easier and cheaper doesn’t always mean better. The final twist in the last five minutes is just insulting. Think of it as a maggot on the top of a rancid ice cream sundae. Skip it.