Four best buds (Sleazy Kip Pardue, limping John Hensley, plus Brian Hallisay and Skyler Stone) head to Vegas for Hallisay’s bachelor party. Two hot chicks (Zulay Henao and Sarah Habel) working at a casino invite the guys to a joint way way off the Vegas strip that is apparently unlike anything they’ve ever experienced. After a night of drunken debauchery, the guys wake up the next morning to find one of them missing. They soon find out that one of the hot chicks is missing too. They have been abducted and end up in the Elite Hunting Club, and when the others try looking for them, they meet a similar fate. Now they are being used as the entertainment for a private show for rich sickos who like watching people get tortured and/or killed.
The first “Hostel” bored me to tears, and I haven’t had occasion to see the second. I don’t even much like the whole ‘torture porn’ deal, though I’ve found merit in the first two “Saw” films (especially the second) and to an extent, “Captivity”. Nonetheless I sat down to watch the third film in the series, directed this time by Scott Spiegel (who co-wrote “Evil Dead II”) and written by Michael Weiss. It’s not much good, but there are some small twists and turns in the script to bring it above the first film, at the very least. Some thought has obviously gone into this, if not in making a good film, at least one that offers a twist or two. Hell, it’s almost watchable and you don’t need to have seen any of the previous films to follow it. It’s also relatively light on the the grislier elements of the subgenre, which isn’t a bad thing in my book, because it’s not my kind of violence anyway (Take that odd statement however you wish). I don’t know what series fans will make of it, but I didn’t hate it, and some of the sick humour made me smile. It’s a load of garbage, but perhaps a clever load of garbage.
Plot-wise it actually starts out a little like “Judgement Night” or “Stag Night”, with Kip Pardue essentially playing the d-bag of the group, and not doing it very well. John Hensley of “Teeth” is considerably better, but sadly isn’t in the film as much. Character actor Thomas Kretschmann, meanwhile, is a pretty capable actor unable to do much with his underwritten sinister role. Having said that, we’re talking leaps and bounds ahead of any of the central performances in the first film.
I liked that the film didn’t spend the whole time in some crappy Eastern European hellhole for a change. However, I don’t know whether to blame Spiegel or the actress, but having the hottest chick in the film being the only girl to not disrobe, is a big drawback for me. Also, despite a couple of twists, you still know where it will ultimately head, and as soon as you see Thomas Kretschmann’s name in the credits you know he’ll play one of the sicko businessmen that populate these films. Spiegel, meanwhile, shows himself to be a better and slicker director than Eli Roth, but they ultimately share an interest in material I couldn’t care less about.
Terrible ending, because it doesn’t fit the characters in question whatsoever. It’s a final twist for the sake of a final twist.
Some interesting little twists and turns on what is essentially the same boring goings on, this time in Vegas. I was bored, but much less so than with the original. At least that’s something, though series fans might find the film tame.