4 douchebags ogle a bunch of hookers in Vegas during a bachelor weekend only to find themselves in a straight-to-DVD sequel whose questionable existence is more disturbing than anything that happens in the film.
The original HOSTEL was an interesting entry in horror. On the surface it had all the elements of any stereotypical slasher flick: overt alpha-hetero (more or less) male leads, an innate distrust of foreigners, and breasts… lots of breasts that owe more to modern science than mother nature. However, with a deeper look, HOSTEL presented many of societal paranoias from a post-911 world. The anti-American slogan that most of the world allegedly chanted was displayed by the powerful and elite of the world. The undisciplined excess from the 1 percenters of the world and the reality that everything in life has a price became the DNA of the series. Yes, the were clipped eye sockets, slashed achilles and few beheadings but the original HOSTEL was smarter than some of it’s “torture-porn” cousins such as SAW, TORTURED, etc. As good as the original film was, I didn’t need a repeat viewing nor any desire to see the first sequel. Seeing a bunch of rich people abuse their powers and revel in their above the law mentality is not my idea of entertainment. It’s the same reason I avoid Kepping up with the Kardashians.
To be honest, the only reason I even saw HOSTEL 3 was because it was available on Netflix and my boyfriend didn’t want to watch the CHARLES IN CHARGE season 1 DVD I just bought and the fact that it was filmed in my hometown Detroit. Going into this flick I had low expectations and an even lower amount of beer, which meant I actually had to pay attention to the whole movie. Imagine my shock when the end credits rolled we both looked at each other and said “That was actually good.” Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a HOSTEL movie that Eli Roth didn’t touch, but it was a nice entry to the series. The opening scene was fairly tense and set up an interesting twist to the story. In fact, this HOSTEL had many twist and turns that gave the movie more life and action that what I would expect. The acting was better than expected. I was sold on Kip Pardue being head douche and although the two female leads are essentially wasted (no pun intended) that did what they could do with their given material. Brian Hallisay was uneven in his role as the last man, but I’m convinced the development of his character was more of the problem than the actor.
The movie was better than expected but it will probably be a letdown for true fans of the series. It’s not as gory nor as shocking at the first, which for me was the bonus, but I’m sure I’m in the minority on that. Also, the script wasn’t air-tight because the plot holes were big enough to drive a semi through. In HOSTEL we had male protagonists. In HOSTEL: PART 2 we had female protagonists. In HOSTEL: PART 3 it looks like we’ll have both but to no avail. The lead famale, Kendra, was barely there and wasn’t given any substance to work with. Scott Spiegel also gave us B-grade direction. It wasn’t completely amateurish, but certain shots look rushed. There were far too many random exterior shots of Vegas (perhaps to cover up the lack of exteriors that could be substituted in Detroit.) The first movie was a statement on the abuse and excess of the privileged. This film has the same statement, yet not as powerful and only serves as an example of the type of film the first movie was unfairly accused of being.
The HOSTEL series can end here. A fourth film is not necessary. The third wasn’t necessary but didn’t completely embarrass the first film either. The twists in the story made this puppy better than it should’ve been. However, at the end of the day when a story has so many plot holes and is saying the same thing that has been said before-and better- does it really need to even exist?
**1/2 out of 4
Miller 64 and hummas with pita bread.