Have patience with me for a moment because I'm going to start off by veering off-topic:
One of my favorite TV shows is Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. I think it's got well-written, emotionally involving stories, and it's got a terrific cast, especially Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay. (I like Richard Belzer as Munch a lot, and I frankly wish they'd give him more of substance to do.) But there's one thing that I've always been vaguely curious about. Since the subject of the film is sex crimes, the writers have to come up with some new horror or atrocity on a weekly basis. I have to wonder what that does to a writer's sensibilities after a while. What's it like to have to dredge up the worst of the worst and the lowest of the low week after week, and have to keep that ball rolling?
I often feel the same way about certain horror movie franchises. A good example would be the Saw series. I must admit, I'm a big fan of all three of those movies, and I think Darrel Lynn Bousman has done a fairly good job of building on the universe created by original writers James Wan and Leigh Whannell, and of making each film emotionally involving, as well as different from its predecessor.
However, how far can they really take it? I mean, Jigsaw is freakin' dead, for crying out loud! I would be very interested in seeing where they take the franchise in Saw IV. And I have to wonder how they're going to come up with ever more elaborate and gruesome traps and devices with which to put the characters in. I mean, how are you gonna top "The Rack" from the third film?! And more to the point, when does this whole thing start to become tedious and stale from a writer's standpoint? At what point does having to come up with new horrors for the sake of a franchise start to just become numbing?
Let me also add to this by expressing my opinion that Eli Roth has managed to get around this whole issue with Hostel: Part II, mainly because his emphasis is not in topping himself with ever-more horrific scenes of torture and mutilation (although the Countess Bathory homage is certainly...unsettling, to say the least!), but in further exploring the whole issue of what sorts of people would join something like the Elite Hunting Club in the first place. Roth has always said that when talking to people about the original Hostel, the scene that many of them found the most disturbing was Paxton (Jay Hernandez)'s encounter with the American businessman (Rick Hoffman), because that sort of established just what kind of place the evil factory was and why people went there!
Many people have complained that Hostel: Part II was not as scary as the original, and to some extent it's understandable why they would think that. It's pretty much a foregone conclusion as to what is going to happen to the main characters and where they'll end up, so there's not quite so much of a surprise there. But by further exploring the nature of the Elite Hunting Club and the motivations of its wealthy yet warped clientele, as well as offering up some admittedly scathing critique of capitalist "values", Roth manages to avoid simply rehashing or repeating himself.
However, Roth has admitted that as of right now he's not interested in making a Hostel: Part III. I think that it would be a smart move for him to move on with his career and do something else. The Hostel duology should be allowed to stand as is, one of the great statements of "extreme" horror ever to be granted any kind of mainstream exposure. There's really no point in Eli or anyone else risking a dilution of what it was that makes these two films so distinctive, which is what I'm kind of afraid just might happen with the Saw franchise.