Hostel is one of the most baffling horror franchises I've ever seen. For one, it's easy to lump the movies into the "torture porn" category, and that was my initial reaction after seeing the first one, but the more I think back on it, the more I appreciate what it was going for. It's an admittedly smart movie, as was Part II (which was basically Hostel with a female cast), that showed how ignorance and gullibility can lead to serious consequences.
Hostel: Part III is radically different from the first two though. First of all, it doesn't take place in Slovakia - it's in Las Vegas. It's also not nearly as heavy on gore as its predecessors. It centers around a group of friends led by a 99 cent version of Brandon Routh, and he's about to get married so his entourage decide to throw him a bachelor party in Vegas before things start going awry. What I liked about this movie is that it didn't follow the same formula as the first two parts. The torture in this entry isn't done in private quarters. Rather, it's done publicly in front of the rich clients who are able to choose the form of torture with a "wheel of death" of some sort. It's a great premise, but I would have liked to see it expounded on a bit more.
The characters are actually likable this time around. They have tangible chemistry and oddly enough the most amusing scene in the movie is when they're all together in a casino just hanging out being dudes. Mike is the comic relief of the group and has some genuinely funny lines, paired with the actor's spot on portrayal of a slimy douche whose only interest is getting lucky. Unfortunately, he doesn't get nearly enough screen time. The disabled character was an interesting idea, but like most aspects of the movie, wasn't executed to its full potential.
The movie itself has plenty of fake outs and twists that will catch you off-guard, and they don't feel thrown in for the sake of it - they're actually pretty clever and keep you invested in the story. Something that surprised me was the movie's third act. After a droning second act, things kick into high gear with an action thriller esque finale that's both exciting and interesting because you actually care and root for the main character. It's a lot of fun and a pleasant change of pace from the downbeat final acts of the first two Hostels.
Again, the biggest thing going against Hostel: Part III is the fact that it promises potential but doesn't entirely deliver. I'd put it on par with the previous entries quality-wise, with an exciting third act that elevates the film's enjoyable payoff. I'd like to see another Hostel in the future that continues in this direction but the fact that this was direct-to-video gives little hope to that notion. Regardless, if you saw the first two there's no reason not to give Part III a shot - it may surprise you.