Scream Horror Magazine

Is The Hostel Trilogy As Bad As The Critics Made Out?

Posted on: August 30th, 2023

While some of the greatest horror movies have stood the test of time and provided timeless entertainment for successive generations, many have been box office flops and aged poorly. Although horror films are a popular concept, it is often when films combine a supernatural element, such as The Exorcist or The Shining, which leads to box office and critical success.

For many critics, a simple slasher horror film rarely receives the plaudits as a standalone movie, and there often needs to be a lot more going on to endear itself to those who make it their job to poke holes in films and try to find flaws.

A Progressive Decline?
Out of the three hostel films made between 2005 and 2011, critics rated each instalment as poorer than the last, with the third one, aptly named Part 3, lambasted by critics. It was such a flop that many people online completely shot down the idea of a 4th instalment, despite it now being over a decade since the third film’s release in the trilogy.

Hostel Part 3 focuses on a story set in Las Vegas, the home of casino gaming and bachelor parties. Concentrating on a fairly predictable story of two men whose focus moves away from the blackjack, poker, and roulette tables. While casino gaming doesn’t feature much in the film, the Las Vegas setting is a suitable backdrop to introduce the unfortunate destiny of the two main characters in Sin City. The casino landscape has changed so much since the release of Hostel Part 3 back in 2011, casinos in Las Vegas controlled a lot of the American market, and digital casinos were a burgeoning sector.

In today’s world, digital casinos are the number one brand, and new payment methods like cryptocurrency are proving to be a hit with casino gamers. While people still travel to Las Vegas for bachelor parties and to let their hair down, like the main characters in Hostel attempted to, the digital casino world is experiencing an enormous spike in activity. Crypto casino games are the latest catalyst that continues to propel this growth. Las Vegas is world-famous for its casino gaming. As the casino industry continues to flourish by offering the facility for people to use their digital assets to play games like poker and blackjack, the Nevada desert didn’t quite have the hard-hitting impact that the creators of Hostel 3 were going for.

Ending up in a sadistic, torturous chamber at the behest of rich people wishing to see gruesome medical experiments isn’t the idea of a laid-back bachelor party. It’s not a new concept, nor was it particularly well done, emphasizing shock and horror more than any actual storyline. So, it’s easy to see why critics widely considered it the worst of the trilogy.

Was The First Hostel Film Worthy Of A Trilogy?
Even though critically acclaimed horror films like The Shining, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Exorcist have all stood the test of time, Hostel isn’t something critics cite as underrated or the definitive horror movie of its period. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre profoundly impacted young, legendary director Quentin Tarantino, spawning a whole range of imitation copies that didn’t live up to the original, as many films fail to do.

However, many critics stated after the second film that there was no fundamental requirement to make the sequel. While the original grossed a lot of money at the box office, it wasn’t considered a piece of high art by most critics or fans who went to see it, and many-levelled the same criticism at the second movie. A distinct lack of a different story, set of character themes, and plot resulted in a more underwhelming and sobering performance at the box office.

If we’re looking at box office receipts, Hostel 1 was more than worthy of probably two more films. On a budget of roughly $4 million, it grossed over $80 million, so it was a colossal success. But the next two failed both critically and commercially. Comparing it to the highly successful, iconic horror film 28 Days Later, which was one of the defining films of its genre and has aged incredibly well, the talk of a third installment excites people.

It depends on what type of horror film you like. A film or movie critic’s word isn’t gospel but a glorified opinion. Even the opinions we have passed today are personal and not reflective of any definite opinion of Eli Roth’s project. If you prefer a horror film for the story and character development, then Hostel isn’t going to be something you enjoy. However, if you’re a fan of an old-fashioned, straight-to-the-point gory horror film, you’ll probably enjoy all three Hostel films; it is entirely subjective.

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