It's really rather surprising that there aren't more horror films set in casinos, considering how full casinos are of the kind of flash and mystery that in the past has been an important part of the horror genre. Casinos are places of deception, risk, adrenaline and ritual, but they are also places under constant surveillance where the company works against the player. A handful of films have made casinos their prime focus, but fewer than you might think, and they often turn out to be low-budget disasters. Let's take a look at the few of them.
Dead Man's Hand, or The Haunted Casino as it is occasionally known, will be a big draw for any fans of Sid Haig - you may remember him as Captain Spaulding in Rob Zombie's House of 1000 Corpses and its sequel The Devil's Rejects – and has an undeniably creepy hill-billy psychopath feel. Playing the ghost of a murdered casino mobster by the name of Roy Donaghue, he and his goon Gill (Michael Berryman of The Hills Have Eyes} intend to collect debts and take revenge on the only surviving family member of the man who killed them. It has a traditional horror set-up in the haunted house vein, but abysmal special effects for a film released in 2007, although we'll let it go because Sid Haig is such a consummate professional at playing murderous lunatics.
Leprechaun 3 starring Warwick David was the first in the series to go straight to video. After Scott McCoy loses all of his money on a roulette wheel in the Lucky Shamrock Casino, he comes across a piece of the Leprechaun's gold which will grant any wish – with a price. Several corrupt members of the casino are killed horrifically by Leprechaun after making vain wishes, such as to have a young body and to sleep with the girl of your dreams. It's the kind of film that makes you want to do your gambling online at an Intertops Online Casino rather than heading to Sin City. With a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it's probably not worth watching unless you like particularly awful horror sequels.
Did you know they made a Hostel part three? Despite the relative success of the first two films, Hostel III was not directed by Eli Roth and was straight to video, which is probably why no one's heard of it. It's like The Hangover gone wrong; a bachelor party goes to Las Vegas, gets drunk, loses friends...and then they die horrifically. The film has very little to do with casinos, other than the Elite placing bets on how their victims will beg for their lives, and the puntastic tag-line “Do you feel lucky?”. Not after watching this.