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Hostel: Part III: A Movie Review

Updated on May 14, 2013

I get annoyed when people refer to something as "torture porn." By its very nature, the term is derogatory, pairing something that most everyone agrees is reviled with something that is generally not something you would want to talk to your mother about (I leave it as an exercise to the reader to decide whether it is torture or porn that is reviled and which is the one you wouldn't want to talk to your mother about). Most times, when people call something torture porn, it's just shorthand for saying that something sucks (and yes, I'm guilty of that now and then). That, of course, is generalizing, and I hate that sort of thing. It's like saying that all slasher movies are garbage, when there is a big difference between something like Halloween and Hatchet. While I'll admit that I am biased against most films that fall into the genre of torture porn, they're honestly not all atrocious. Sure, I've never seen one that I thought was great (as I've discussed before, Saw isn't torture porn) but I'm man enough to admit that there are some torture porn films that are watchable. Hostel: Part III is one such film. Not by much, admittedly, but you gotta start somewhere.

The third Hostel, a direct-to-video film that is somehow based on characters created by Eli Roth despite literally only using the idea of the hunting club from the first two movies and not any of the actual characters, tells the story of Scott's (Brian Hallisay) bachelor party and his own encounter with the hunting club. Instead of heading to the middle of nowhere, his best friend Carter (Kip Pardue) takes him to Vegas where they meet Justin (John Hensley, playing a character with a lame leg and cyber stalking skills) and Mike (Skyler Stone, playing a douche of the utmost caliber). They end up hooking up with a pair of, well, hookers (purchased by Carter for the express purposes of getting Scott laid before he gets married), and before they know it Mike and his hooker have been drugged and captured by the Elite Hunting Club and then they are dead. In following with the grand tradition of Hostel films, the girl has no personality traits aside from Hooker and Mike is so thoroughly unlikable you seriously don't care if he dies or not, something that happens to both of them pretty quickly.

Scott and his friends go looking for Mike, teaming up with the other hooker, and they eventually make their way to a hotel where the club's heavy, Travis (Chris Coy), had already kidnapped a couple earlier in the film. Scott and his friends are the next victims, although the big twist in this film is that Kip is a member of the club and he paid good money to have Scott eliminated so he can steal his girl. Mike and Justin and the hookers are just collateral damage, which is kind of befitting considering the amount of development any of them really ended up getting throughout the film, and once again, as Hostel films are wont to do, by the end pretty much every one is dead.

Hostel: Part III is basically The Hangover meets Hostel, and it's as ridiculous as it sounds. It's definitely a step above the first two films by sheer virtue of the fact that only one of the characters in the film is grating enough to have you wishing for his death (Mike). The rest of the cast has very little in the way of development in order to make you care whether they live or die, which is once again one of the big faults in this series, but on the other hand, they're not vile enough that you actually want them to die. Scott, although a bit bland and one-note, is portrayed as a decent enough guy, refusing to sleep with one of the hookers on the grounds that he cheated on his fiance once before and he refuses to do it ever again. While he's not someone I'd like to spend any more time with, he's likable enough as the cypher that he is and I definitely could not say about either of the first two films.

It's curious that this, the best of the Hostel films, doesn't seem to quite understand what was happening in the other movies. Those films took place in Europe, in the middle of nowhere, and the Elite Hunting Club picked up foreigners visiting hostels, people who were hard to track and likely wouldn't be missed if they did vanish. The hunting club operated in dungeons, dark and dank locations that featured weapons out of medieval torture chambers. The third installment in the franchise moved the action to Vegas, turning the torture chamber into a gleaming sterile chamber with all manner of shiny weaponry, and instead of having the members of the club do the deed themselves, they seem to have a rotating staff of murderers while the club members bet on how long it takes for people to die. The titular hostel is a hotel named Hostel (geez) and their manner of collecting their normal victims is for Travis to barge into their hotel room under the pretenses of being given the wrong key and then drugging them. It's a decidedly un-Hostel like set-up and it's pretty stupid.

But as I've always said, I'm willing to overlook stupid provided I don't hate all of the characters. I may not sing any of it's praises (as I'm sure you've noticed by now, I'm more ambivalent towards this film than recommending you actually watch it), but I'll call a spade a spade: this didn't suck outright.

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