Hostel Part III (DVD)
Directed by Scott Spiegel
Distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Eli Roth's Hostel took the genre in a startling new direction with its comedic opening and nightmarish final act. Hostel Part II, though much maligned by many, wrapped up Roth's events and opened the door for a possible third film. Well, said Part III is here, but instead of simply passing through the threshold set up by Roth and phoning it in, it takes off in a new direction and in the process honors the franchise while leaving its own bloody mark.
The Elite Hunting Club members are at it again, only this time they're not on foreign ground. That's right, kids; Hostel Part III brings the horrors of being killed by the sadistic rich maniacs Stateside, and what better place to host the debauchery than the city of sin itself, Las Vegas?!? You know the drill by now ... four friends meet up with two leggy escorts who invite our soon to be hungover quartet to a private party off the Strip. Of course things go wrong. Very wrong, in fact, but that's where the similarities to the previous two films end. Hostel Part III is an altogether different beast that enjoys having the viewer navigate its blood-stained twists and turns. Things may not always be what they seem, but damnit, they're nice and gory.
Believe it or not, this third film breathes some nice fresh air into the dank stuffy cells that came before it, and while not perfect by any means, it does enough right to be considered to be a worthy follow-up. Yes, the usual direct-to-video pitfalls are here, but given the amount of onscreen mayhem and a rather clever storyline, they're all pretty easy to forgive.
In terms of special features, all that we get is an interesting and lively conversation between director Scott Spiegel and actor Kip Pardue. The only thing that would have made this better is if the deliciously evil Thomas Kretschmann was on hand to shed some light on his character's nefarious ways. In retrospect a few other special features would have been nice, but the real sin for my money is the fact that there's no Blu-ray available of the flick. As is, we're nearly bare bones and in standard definition. That just kind of sucks.
Hostel Part III is much better than it has any right to be. Quick, fun, and blissfully brutal, it stands head and shoulders above the usual direct-to-video sequels that are shoved down our throats at a steady pace. Given the flick's setting, it's kind of fitting that it beat the odds. We love it when the house loses!
3 1/2 out of 5
1 out of 5
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