Hostile Environments: Hostel Part III

Hostile Environments: Hostel Part III

Static Mass Rating: 2/5
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Release date: January 23rd 2012
Certificate (UK): 18
Running time: 82 minutes

Director: Scott Spiegel
Writer: Michael D. Weiss

Cast: Thomas Kretschmann, Kip Pardue, Brian Hallisay, John Hensley, Skyler Stone

I’m always dubious about sequels. With the exception of a few, they spoil the originals, have no self-respect, and process the same drivel, which is often why they are sent directly to DVD. That said, I’m a sucker for giving in and feel almost compelled to watch them.

Hostel Part III is the latest entry in the franchise and other than the characters has no involvement from Eli Roth whatsoever. As I sit down to watch it, I dread to think what it’ll be like – especially since Scott Spiegel is the director behind one of the worst sequels of all time, From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money (1999). Surely it can’t be that bad?

While attending a bachelor party in Las Vegas before he marries Amy (Kelly Thiebaud), Scott (Brian Hallisay) and his friends Justin (John Hensley), Mike (Skyler Stone) and Carter (Kip Pardue) are enticed by two sexy escorts Nikki (Zulay Henao) and Angela (Jeanette Manderachia) to join them at a private party on the outskirts of the Strip. 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.

Hostel Part III

I’m a fan of Eli Roth’s Hostel (2005), which together with films like Saw (2004) attempted to bring dark and incredibly gory subject matters for the viewing of mainstream audiences. They created a sub genre known as ‘torture-porn’, which seemingly acts as a middle finger to the endless American re-imagining’s of Asian ghost stories. Sadly, like with anything financially successful, the sub genre over the years has become clichéd and more of the same begins to appear on our screens, each with the intention of being gorier than its predecessor and the plots became almost non-existent in the process.

In the previous Hostel films the victims were used as pawns that wealthy business people bid on, paying large sums of money to torture them and fulfil their sick fantasies. Part 3 has changed this idea – making it into a live show which a number of high class business people watch from behind a large glass pane.

They use hi-tech betting equipment to play ‘Wheel of Misfortune’- a gambling game where they can bet on how long the victims will survive, which item or weapon the performer will use and even what the victims might cry out as they are being tortured. It makes a change for a sequel to offer some sort of originality and this game show style setting was entertaining.

The problem with Hostel: Part III, unlike the previous films taking place in Europe, is the fact it is set in Las Vegas. This change of location takes the tension away. The feeling of isolation, not knowing where you are and being unable to communicate with locals due to language barriers isn’t there. Claustrophobia is vital for a film like this. It’s scary enough being lost in another country without being captured and tortured.

With a franchise like Hostel you expect one thing: gore and plenty of it. The previous films made a point of emphasising the torture and suffering. More so in Hostel: Part II (2007) -remember poor Lorna’s death? Sadly, this entry offers hardly any gore; the torture scenes aren’t intense and are mostly off-screen. Some of the deaths had the potential of being good but the lack of suspense made them forgettable.

Hostel Part III

These include death by cockroaches; a face peel reminisant of Leatherface’s handiwork and a game of archery you wouldn’t want to be part of. Personally I preferred Part II, which although wasn’t a success at the box office, upped the brutality and gave us a back-story on the torture chambers and the secret society that operated them. The acting was better and at times made me squirm and think they’d gone too far- a good film in my opinion makes you feel some sort of emotion, Hostel Part 3 left me disappointed.

It’s not all bad. Michael D. Weiss, who had previously written the screenplay for I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer (2006), has managed to offer some twists and sub plots, which keep you entertained throughout. The opening is unpredictable and offers a highly interesting twist, which changes our expectations and establishes that a new type of villain is in town. The ending is ridiculous, but by that point I wasn’t expecting a miracle.

I also felt that Part III was trying to appeal to audiences by trying to create a product similar to The Hangover (2009). For a moment I had to remind myself which film I was watching.

I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy Hostel Part III, because for some strange reason I did. It would have made a better stand-alone film instead of shamelessly cashing in on an already popular franchise. Fans will surely be disappointed. Would I watch Hostel: Part 4? Possibly: I told you I can’t resist a sequel.

About Jamie Suckley

Jamie Suckley

Jamie, editor for Cult Movies at Static Mass, is a 24 year old media studies graduate from Sheffield, who likes nothing better than watching films. If he was to star in a horror film he’d like to be the first one killed (think Drew Barrymore in Scream).

He has a keen interest in horror which started when he was a child. Due to his hyperactive behaviour his cousins made him watch films they thought would calm him down- They were wrong! It was watching Hellraiser and Killer Klowns from Outer Space that his passion for horror began. Over the years this developed into a passion for zombies, madmen, mutated animals and all things gore.

When he’s not working, in his dream world, worrying about zombie epidemics or watching films, he can be found on Twitter sharing his thoughts and bringing his dream world into reality.

You can follow Jamie on Twitter @JamieSuckley.