Hostel Part III appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. While not a bad SD-DVD presentation, the transfer was more erratic than I’d like.
Some of the inconsistencies came from sharpness. Parts of the movie exhibited good clarity and definition, but more than a few exceptions occurred, especially in wide shots. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, but some light edge haloes occurred, and other forms of artifacting marred the presentation.
More than a few print flaws also cropped up, as I noticed some specks and a couple of big hairs. These tended to come in batches; large parts of the transfer passed without defects, but some segments showed lots of them. Since a brand-new flick shouldn’t have any debris like this, I was surprised to see so many issues.
To fit its genre, Part III went with a stylized palette. The Vegas shots opted for the usual bright neon tones, while other shots tended to be colder and more desaturated, though some sickly yellows and green also entered the picture. The colors usually looked runny and messy; they weren’t terrible but they lacked clarity.
Blacks were erratic. Dark tones tended to be somewhat flat and inky, and shadows were up and down. Some low-light shots offered decent clarity, but many were rather dense and tough to discern. The image was good enough for a “C-“ but the mix of problems made it surprisingly unattractive.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack of Hostel Part III also had some concerns, mostly because it lacked much heft. I needed to crank my receiver higher than normal, and even then, the mix still didn’t have much punch. Occasional scenes offered a little more oomph, but the audio remained surprisingly flat much of the time.
Otherwise, audio quality was fine. Speech remained natural and distinctive, and music seemed clear. Effects showed good accuracy, even without the lack of great presence. The mix had decent quality that simply suffered from a dearth of punch.
As for the soundscape, it was fine for the material. The mix opted to focus mostly on the front speakers, so the back channels didn’t add much more than some music and general reinforcement. In the front, the elements showed good placement and meshed together fairly well. Nothing here seemed especially memorable, but the track was satisfactory beyond its volume issues.
Only one significant extra shows up here: an audio commentary from director Scott Spiegel and actor Kip Pardue. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story/character subjects, cast and performances, the rapid-fire nature of the production, photography, sets and locations, editing and deleted scenes, audio, and a few other areas.
Pardue and Spiegel deliver too much happy talk along the way, but they still manage to produce a good number of thoughts about the movie’s creation. They cover various challenges well and dig into a nice variety of subjects. Ultimately they make this a useful piece.
The disc opens with ads for Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Retreat, Drive, Colombiana and Attack the Block. These also appear under Previews. No trailer for Hostel Part III pops up here.
Will Hostel Part III do anything to convert new fans? No, but I suspect folks who enjoy the series will find merit in it. Though there’s nothing especially memorable here, it’s fine for its genre. The DVD provides erratic picture and audio as well as a good commentary. Leave this one for aficionados of the Hostel franchise.