Monday, 9 April 2012

Hostel: Part 3 (2011): Review

Hostel: part 3 is a 2011 straight-to-DVD horror film. The film is directed by Scott Spiegel and stars Kip Pardue and Brian Hallisay. The third in the "torture-porn" franchise, the events are now taking place in Las Vegas as opposed to central Europe.

The story follows the soon-to-be-married Scott (Hallisay) as he's whisked away by best buddy Carter (Pardue) for his stag night. Shockingly the pair aren't going golfing in Palm Springs, but are actually meeting up with friends Mike and Justin in "sin city". The obligatory strippers, booze and wild partying ensues, but the group soon find themselves in the wrong side of town as they become prisoners in an extremely suspicious complex. It is revealed that the pay-as-you-go torture service known as the elite hunting club have now set up operations on American soil and are exploiting the gambling capital of the world as part of their service. This involves our victims being placed in an glass-walled room, where wealthy clients are able to observe the carnage from the comfort of their theatre seats. One lucky client still gets to do the dirty work,  but the observers are able to vote, using their laptops, on what kind of torture is going to be performed, allowing them to gamble on the outcome. Our heroes (aka drunken idiots) are ultimately forced to tap into their own sadistic urges to escape their demise and bring an end to the EHC's Vegas branch.

 The poster for Hostel 3 is one of the most atrocious pieces of box art I've ever seen. I don't usually judge a movie by it's cover but when I first saw this I thought it was laughable, unfortunately this is definitely a case of "what you see is what you get". The deadly serious (and sometimes stylish) approach of the first two films is abandoned in favour of a lighter and more comic b-movie style. This would be fine were it not for the fact that this is supposed to be a torture-porn film! There is nothing more unfunny than watching someone being sadistically tortured for their own gratification, and this results in one of the most ill-judged horror sequels of all time. The jokes that are attempted come off as a lame pastiche of contemporary dross such as The Hangover (2009) and fail to make any of the main characters in the least bit likeable.

The other glaring element missing from this film is the gore, where is it? Apart from quite a neat flaying incident, the movie is almost completely absent of any kind of original or creative use of gore, as seen in the rest of the franchise. From what I could gather, the film makers spent all their budget on Ariel shots of Las Vegas and inexplicably long dolly shots of women's behinds, when what they should have been doing is concentrating on the special effects needed to create a gore film! I don't think I'll be spoiling anything when I talk about twists, because there are about half a dozen! The writer seems to be obsessed with swerving the audience; Oh you thought the eastern Europeans were the bad guys? You thought this was the club headquarters? You thought this was the ending? These techniques are not big or clever and if M. Night Shyamalan has taught us anything, it's that the audience will resent repeated twists.

Hostel 3 is a wretched piece of amateur film-making. It lets the franchise down, it let's the sub-genre down and more importantly, it let's horror fans down. Now that the Hostel franchise has sunk to the similar depths plumbed by the contemporary Saw franchise, it would seem that the torture-porn fad is now coming to an end. If you are looking for better efforts I would suggest opting for the more classy French efforts (Haute Tension, Martyrs), however, as far as this film is concerned it's not so much a torture film as just plain torturous.

1 Star *

What did you think of the movie? Are you a Hostel fan?

1 comment:

  1. I wasn't a fan of any of the Hostel films so the fact that the third one was subpar didn't come as a surprise for me. There was a touch of potential for the third one to be an ok horror film but everything was just so poorly executed. I was a little surprised to see both Kip Pardue and Thomas Kretschmann in this film though as both have done some quite good work in the past (in addition to some not so good work I guess).