Hostel Part III (Scott Spiegel, 2011)
Before I start dwelling on the bad things about this movie, which I’m relatively sure I will be doing by the third paragraph, I want to make something perfectly clear: I liked Hostel Part III way, way more than I expected to based on (a) Netflix user ratings, (b) the reviews I’d seen, and (c ) Hostel Part II. I am a big fan in general of movies that say “oh, hey, we’ve taken a look at the expectations you will have based on your viewing of the previous movies in the series, and we’re going to write this script with every thought towards turning those ideas on their collective head.” Hostel Part III comes roaring out of the gate that way in the very first sequence, as we see country bumpkin Travis (Little Birds‘ Chris Coy—possibly playing to character, as IMDB notes he was born in Louisville, KY) stumbling into a room in a hotel already inhabited by a lovely Eastern European couple where the woman looks like a hooker and the guy like a thug. If you’ve seen the first two movies, this is obvious setup, but then screenwriter Michael D. Weiss, who specializes in bad sequels (I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer, Octopus 2: River of Fear), turns things around, and while this is a minor spoiler, the opening scene is mostly there for set decoration anyway—Travis is the hunter, the right-hand man of Flemming (Der Untergang‘s Thomas Kretschmann), the head of Elite Hunting Club’s Las Vegas branch. Turns out Travis cleans up pretty nice.
But that’s not part of the actual plot, which involves Carter McMullen (Thirteen‘s Kip Pardue) hauling his best friend Scott (Client List‘s Brian Hallisay) off to Vegas for his bachelor party after assuring the fiancée (Kelly Thiebaud, now a regular on General Hospital) that they’re off for a weekend of golfing in Palm Springs. Once in the City that Never Sleeps, they hook up with two of their other friends, Justin (Shutter‘s John Hensley) and Mike (The Rules of Attraction‘s Skyler Stone), and the four of them get ready to party down with a number of lovely escorts, including Kendra (Whip It‘s Sarah Habel), who ends up having a deep and meaningful conversation with Scott after he decides he’s going to stay faithful, they bond, blah blah blah, you know where all this is going.
I wouldn’t necessarily describe it as clever, but given my expectations given that it’s a third movie in a series etc., it was far more intelligent than I thought it would be, pointed and fun and never forgetting that the backbone of the entire series is Eli Roth’s very, very black sense of humor. But there were some things about it that range from just not ringing quite right—there seems as if there’s going to be a romance subplot that just kind of withers on the vine, for example—to the outrageously awful (oh, that soundtrack). A computer crash just lost me the last paragraph and a half of this review and I’m too frustrated to retype it all (not to mention I’d written it in fits and starts over the course of the previous hour—the irony is that LibreOffice’s autobackup procedure is what caused the crash in the first place), so the short answer: the stuff I’ve been harping on in this paragraph, which is annoying and often beggars suspension of disbelief, is still not enough to say “avoid this” if you were a fan of the first film; Spiegel (From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money) is certainly no Eli Roth, but go into this with low expectations and you might find yourself pleasantly surprised. ** ½
Official, and spoiler-laden, trailer.