Hostel III (2011) – Review by Garrett Collins

Back in 2003, while Eli Roth was doing press to hype up his debut film Cabin Fever, he made it very clear that he was a big reader of Fangoria Magazine. A magazine that I also read, and remember featuring articles on Wes Craven, John Carpenter, and George A. Romero. Roth was such a huge fan of those guys that he really wanted to be the next big horror director, and being compared to those guys would be seen as somewhat of a compliment. Well, as the beginning credits to Hostel 3 rolled, the title that all creators of a horror franchise want to see rolled past: Based on characters created by: Eli Roth. Congratulations, Mr. Roth. You have entered the realms of horror infamy. You have joined the ranks of Craven and Carpenter, who are still enjoying the benefits of handing their respected franchises off. In this case, after writing and directing the first two films of the Hostel series, Roth decided he wanted no more of the franchise and handed the directing reigns to the producer of both the other films of the series, Scott Spiegel. And, the writer of this film is Michael D. Weiss, whose last two writing credits were Journey to the Center of The Earth and Butterfly Effect 2. Could this direct to DVD title have any chance of being good?

If you had asked me ten minutes into this movie, I would have said yes. Tension filled, with a twist I did not see coming, Spiegel gets the film off on the right foot. But, he severs said foot not long after when he introduces us to our Sideways-wannabe two main characters, soon to be four. And, while there is an intriguing concept at work here. After all, where is a better place to pay TO sin than Sin City itself, Las Vegas? The uniqueness of this concept goes right out the window once we start following the three other characters that take an unknowing Scott (Brian Hallisay) to get their rocks off before Scott gets married. Granted, horror scripts are not known for their identifiable characters. But, with the exception of the situation Scott gets unknowingly put in after getting caught cheating by his future wife the year before, there is no one to identify with here. Also, producers of these films want you to have the same reaction to a sign that says Hostel just as teenagers did to Chrystal Lake all those years ago. But, to me, it induced ‘let the new torture devices begin.’ Now, if that induces feelings of shock and fear in you, have at it. This critic, however, just let out a big groan.

Believe it or not, even at this point, I was still with this film. But, it is times like this that the obviousness of a low budget seems to kick in. Scenes of obvious CGI roaches (roaches that were better pulled off in a 1995 episode of the X Files than here) and a bad gag of having a character spew blood and cut to a red smoothie getting made had me groaning even louder. Spiegel’s fast cuts notwithstanding, the dialogue here was the final drilled nail in my ears. Hearing a stripper ask one of the characters if they “like it freaky” had me once again telling my TV, ‘Yes. But I like my horror films freaky too.’ Another admittedly good twist about an hour in came about when I had already tuned out of the film. Yes, there is a lot of blood spilled here (more than I could imagine a straight to DVD film could afford) but I doubt you will even care. My advice? If you are this thirsty to see the blood spill pick up the first two. The Eli Roth touch is on them. And, there is nothing that causes more violence within myself than listening to 4 commentaries on both discs. And, I doubt asequel called “Hostel, Resurrection” can be milked out of this concept just as Roth had hoped.



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