Hostel III is...sure a movie I saw.

I didn't--I don't know, I think I was going into this expecting the quality to be more like the first two movies, which was my mistake. It's Vegas! If there's one city in America where Elite Hunting could open a franchise, it's there. And I don't hate the concept; the concept's fine. If you look at it from a money-making standpoint, it makes sense to open a place in the States, because people pay the most money for Americans--not counting special requests like the Japanese girls, which is a whole separate thing. (If they did a fourth movie with a Japanese director, and ran it like an actual J-horror film, it could be really interesting.) It's just the execution that falls down.

See, you have Scott, who's getting married in a week. His best friend Carter--along with their other friends Justin and Mike--take him to Vegas for his bachelor party. Only Carter, who's pissed Scott ended up with the girl he wanted to rail in college, is one of EH's best customers, so he's arranged the whole thing to murder him and come in and sweep a grieving Amy off her feet? And Mike and Justin, along with a couple of very nice strippers Carter hired, end up as collateral damage. Also, there's a whole subplot with a Ukrainian guy who's stuck in the holding pens and is trying to escape to get revenge for his girlfriend; and Thomas Kretzchsmann is the guy who's in charge of the whole branch, and doesn't do a lot besides be vaguely European and motorboat topless waitresses. THAT IS IT. It is kind of boring! And it should not be, because it was produced by the same guys--sans Eli Roth--who did the first two, and Scott Spiegel directed this one. Scottie! Scottie Spiegel! What the actual shit?

Also? The kills are deeply boring. I'm not saying knock it up to Saw-levels of Rube Goldberg contraptions and setups and whatever; I'm just saying, we can maybe do better than Mike getting his face cut off and a stripper being dressed in a cheerleader outfit and fed a chemical that makes giant hissing roaches swarm into her mouth and choke her to death. I will say that Justin's death, which features a Japanese woman wearing a wooden fox mask and armed with a crossbow, in a room filled with mood fog is at least...something? I don't know, I don't hate it, but it's no "Lauren German cuts off Roger Bart's dick and tosses it to bloodhounds", is what I'm saying.

It's not even the actors' fault, though Kretzchsmann is basically sleepwalking through this; he's more excited in Wanted, for God's sake, and he was in that for literally five minutes. (He's in this one for about seven, maybe eight.) Skyler Stone makes you want to smack Mike even as you're laughing, and John Hensley actually made me feel bad for Justin, who comes pre-loaded with a polio brace and sheepishly admits to being good at cyberstalking ladies. Kip Pardue in particular is really good as Carter; he goes from putting up an excellent front re: Scott's impending marriage to being horrified that Justin and Mike got stuck in this, before whipping around and really getting into taunting Scott during the Leverage Villain Gloat. He actually reminds me a lot of--yeah, I'm going to reference it again, SHUT UP, but he reminds me a lot of Victor from The Rules of Attraction, which baseline Kip Pardue, actually.

(I haven't reviewed it yet, because the review would mostly be a numbered list of all-caps flails and lines from the movie itself, but I fucking love ROA.)

I don't know. It's like they took a really interesting concept and...dialed it back? Which, what the hell, direct-to-video always does this, and that's baffling. You'd think you'd try to get away with more if you can skip the theatrical. I'm not sorry I saw it, mostly because I am a giant completist spaz, and certain things--no one speaking a language other than English gets subtitled, I'm looking at you--are a nice callback, but overall if you loved I and II and were eagerly awaiting this, maybe...maybe we find other ways to watch it, is what I'm saying. If you have to pay money, rent, don't buy.


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