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Hostel Part III (2011)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
DVD Released: 12/27/2011
All Ratings out of
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 12/31/2011
It's a stereotype that sequels get worse as the series goes on, but it's also one which history has proven as true. The higher the number behind the title, the worse that the movie probably is. The movie studios know this, but they don't care, as the production budgets usually go down as the number of movies goes up, and thus they can turn a profit easier. As someone who didn't likeHostel or Hostel Part II, I wasn't exactly looking forward to Hostel Part III. Not only did it have a "III" behind the title, it went directly to video, which can't be a good sign. But, it' my job here at DVDSleuth.com to watch movies and let you know if they are worth-while, so I took the plunge.
Unlike the first two installments in the series, Hostel Part III brings the action stateside. Scott (Brian Hallisay) is engaged to Amy (Kelly Thiebaud), so their mutual friend Carter (Kip Pardue) arranges to take Scott to Palm Springs for a bachelor party weekend. However, Carter loves surprises and takes Scott to Las Vegas instead, where they meet up with old friends Mike (Skyler Stone) and Justin (John Hensley). Carter takes them to an elaborate party and everyone has a good time. However, things take a turn for the worse the next morning when they realize that one of the group is missing. While looking for him, they meet Kendra (Sarah Habel), an escort from the party who reports that one of her friends didn't come home either. The group follows some leads and finds themselves captured by an organization which likes to put on torture and murder shows for high-paying clients.
What are the odds that Hostel Part III would be the best entry in the series? Pretty good considering how bad the first two films were. The screenplay by Michael D. Weiss (who has written some stinkers in the past I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer and The Butterfly Effect 2) makes two very wise decisions. The movie assumes that we've seen at least one of the first two movies and it plays on this notion. The movie presents some clever scenes which play like something from Hostel and then go down a different path. I have to say that I was taken by surprise by these twists, which leads us to the second way in which the film succeeds. We don't expect anything new or clever from the third movie in the series, therefore, the plot twists are even more surprising. If I had thought for a moment that the movie was going to try and do anything to try and shakes things up, then I may have seen the twists coming, but as it was, I had only expected a carbon copy of the previous entries in the series, so what should have been moderate surprises were more effective than that.
Of course, the fact that Hostel Part III improves on its predecessors doesn't mean that it's necessarily a good movie. The plot is simply a more violent and twisted version ofThe Hangover. The acting is adequate at best, and some parts of the second act are repetitive. Those looking for the gore of the first two movies will be disappointing, as this entry is a bit more tame. Yes, it's gory, but it doesn't go for the gross-out like the others.
In my recent review forIntruder, I wondered why Director Scott Spiegel hadn't built more of a career for himself given the visual creativity of that film. Well, we don't get many interesting shots in Hostel Part III, but Spiegel does keep things moving along at a nice pace. This isn't to imply that the movie is poorly shot, I'm simply stating that the visuals really call attention to themselves. One could point to the fact that this was a low-budget movie with a presumably brief shooting schedule and blame this for the lack of creative shots, but Intruder was a blockbuster which took a year to shoot.
I'm not a fan of Eli Roth and I never understood the fuss over the first two Hostel films. This third installment tones down the overall gore content and focuses more on making a streamlined movie with some well-placed twists. Will the movie satisfy fans of the other movies? I don't know, but if you felt that Hostel and Hostel Part II were more about spectacle than content, then you may want to check out Part III.
Hostel Part III never explained what that hold hotel was on DVD courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The movie has been letterboxed at 1.78:1 and the transfer has been enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. This may be one of the lesser transfers which I've seen from a major home video company, unless Spiegel was going for the "grindhouse" look and there's no indication this is the case. The picture shows dirt and what looks like hair. There are also scratches and some grain. The image is a bit dark and soft, but the colors look realistic. The DVD carries a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track which provide clear dialogue and sound effects. The music sounds very good and provides surround and subwoofer effects. We also get subwoofer effects during the third act, from explosions and gunshots. The stereo effects give an indication of things happening off-screen.
The only extra on the Hostel Part III DVD is an AUDIO COMMENTARY with Director Scott Spiegel and actor Kip Pardue.
Review Copyright 2011 by Mike Long