Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hostel 3 (2011)

Every horror franchise I can think of reaches a point where it ceases to be any good. Hostel has reached that point.

Scott is soon to be married and on his way to his bacelor party trip with his best friend Carter, only to find out that their destination isn't going to be based around the golf links, but in Las Vegas with Scott's other best friends Justin and Mike. After meeting a couple of girls in a casino who tell them about a "freaky" place off the strip to party the real bachelor party is underway. A feeding tube 40oz, plenty of naked women and more random people than you'd know what to do with are the setting inside of this sketchy warehouse. After the night of partying Mike and the escort he was with disappear and eventually they get a message from his phone to meet them at a motel where they are gassed by masked men and brought back to a dingy room and housed inside of metal cages. Carter reveals his Elite Hunting Club tattoo and they free him where he has a meeting with the bigwigs of the club. It's revealed that this is all a setup on Scott because Carter wants his woman. Scott and Carter end up fighting with swords and a mace before all hell breaks loose at the club setting up a really cliched twist ending.

Scott Spiegel, best know for directing INTRUDER and for his various roles working on Sam Raimi films, directs the first HOSTEL entry to go straight to video and to not be directed by Eli Roth. Spiegel's direction is bland and uninspired but so is the rest of the film. The editing suffers from fast jumpy music video style editing at times that plagues many independent horror films. The photography looks plain awful on more than one occasion, notably during a couple of hand to hand fight scenes. There is a ghosting lag that looks like a shitty video game connection on the internet. The effects are cheaply done and don't really hide themselves. Look for a scene with cockroaches and sparks from a cane to see exactly what I mean. Aside from all of that the cast does a nice job for the most part. They carried a rather weak script and made it believable and aside from hamming it up on occasion the acting was the bright spot of the movie. I wish we could have seen more from Thomas Kretschmann though.

Obviously this movie had more budget limitations than the previous entries of the series had (which were by no means big budget films) but there wasn't much about Hostel 3 that really worked to make the best of it. The switch in setting from Eastern Europe to Las Vegas had pros and cons. It was cool to see a bit more of the EHC, and I suppose it works as a linked international organization, with different chapters or clubhouses but the real world sketchiness that Eastern Europe has provided in the not so distant past, along with the unknowing-tourist-in-peril aspect really added to the atmosphere of the first two movies for me. A seedy hostel in a small town of Slovakia would be scarier to me than anywhere in Las Vegas.

Hostel 3 doesn't have a whole lot going for it. Love him or hate him, it really would have benefited from Eli Roth behind the camera. It probably won't be the worst movie I watch in 2012 but this isn't exactly how I wanted to start out the new year.


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