Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
Hostel Movie Poster Image
Extremely brutal, graphic horror movie has cursing, nudity.
  • R
  • 2006
  • 95 minutes

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 40 reviews

Kids say

age 16+
Based on 52 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Rich people pay money to torture young tourists.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Between sex-obsessed and homophobic lead characters on a drink- and drug-fueled binge through Europe in search of easy sex, psychotic sadists who perpetrate beyond-gory torture and killing, and stereotypes of various ethnicities, there are no positive role models in this movie.


Gruesome, ongoing violence, in form of torture and vengeful resistance to same (instruments include chainsaws, guns, knives, scissors, clippers, drills, hammers, pincers, cars). Nearly impossible to tally all individual acts of violence, gore. Woman commits suicide by jumping in front of train; this woman had recently escaped from having eye gouged out by sadistic wealthy man who had paid money for chance to kill her slowly. Eye is shown dangling before it's clipped off -- one of the most incredibly disgusting moments in cinema. A man makes a homosexual pass at an unwilling young man.


Blatant female nudity (including one brief full-frontal shot), brief male nudity (buttocks), sexual activity, incessant sexual slang, derogatory language. Lead characters are looking all over the continent for sex with as many women as possible, including going into brothels, paying prostitutes. Lead characters walk in on prostitute engaged in S&M with a customer. Inside a brothel in Amsterdam: shadows in different rooms of people engaged in various sexual acts and positions. 


Over 100 uses of "f--k" in various forms, plus slang for genitals and sexual behaviors, homosexual slurs. 


Bars advertise brands of beer.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters smoke -- cigarettes and marijuana -- drink to excess, do multiple drugs. Two of the main characters are drugged by women they have recently met and pass out. A lead character almost gets into a bar fight before it's quickly broken up; he and his friends are kicked out of the club. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Hostel is a 2006 horror movie in which a pair of American college guys backpacking through Europe in search of sex, drugs, and alcohol find themselves in a gory nightmare of sadistic torture. This is absolutely not for kids. The premise and primary "plot" is torture -- specifically, the torture of young travelers by wealthy adults who pay thousands of dollars for the experience. These images are graphic and bloody (severed limbs, penetrated genitals, sliced Achilles tendon, gouged eye, with weapons including scissors, chainsaws, knives, hammers, drills, clippers, guns, cars, and chairs). One character throws herself in front of a train when she sees her disfigurement following torture. These violent scenes are preceded by a sojourn in Amsterdam featuring bare breasts and one frontal nudity shot. Characters engage in boisterous sex, and a man makes a homosexual pass at an unwilling young man. Characters smoke, drink, and do multiple sorts of drugs. Characters use frequent foul language (over 100 uses of "f--k," derogatory terms like "f--got").

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byHORROR FAN 1 February 2, 2021

It’s part of the horror genre best described as torture porn

It is not for week stomachs and should not let young children watch this film can not stress that enough , I would let my kids watch it around the age of 17 or... Continue reading
Adult Written byGorilla G Swagger May 7, 2021

A good concept horror film

I watched this film 2 years ago and I really enjoyed it after I watched it once I bought it on DVD. I will warn you guys, it is very graphic in both sex and gor... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byminionlover246 February 19, 2016


Please do not step near this movie at all!!!! Even I should not watch it either. WARNING, don't read this part of my review if your grossed out easy: A wom... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byEthan_whaterver March 7, 2021

Interesting plot...explicit sex and violence.

I think the thing that’s shocked me most was how many times there were bare breasts shown. The only reason the directors got away with this is because all of Eu... Continue reading

What's the story?

American backpackers Paxton (Jay Hernandez) and Josh (Derek Richardson) are traveling with their new friend Oli (Eythor Gudjonsson), each trying hard to impress the others with his capacity for partying. In Amsterdam, they're amazed by the availability of sex, marijuana, and hash, all of these indulgences featured in graphic imagery. The boys are thrilled to learn from the ultra-skeezy Alex (Lubomir Silhavecky) that a hostel in Slovakia promises even more loose girls and more potent drugs. They hop on a train tout de suite. Here they're forewarned of the mayhem to come when a fellow traveler, an older Dutchman (Jan Vlasák), makes an unwanted pass at Josh. Still, the boys' cockiness only escalates when they meet a few girls who do indeed seem enthralled with them, in particular Natalya (Barbara Nedeljáková) and Svetlana (Jana Kaderabkova). Soon enough, everyone is drunk and having sex, and one by one, the boys disappear. When he wakes up tied to a chair with a spastic German man whizzing a chainsaw over him, Paxton eventually pieces together that they have been kidnapped for use in torture rituals by wealthy customers who pay to abuse and kill pretty young tourists.

Is it any good?

HOSTEL is as brutal a film as you're likely to see; it's definitely NOT for kids. The fact that Paxton must pose as one of the clients, and, while wearing rubber aprons, endure a conversation with an anxious first-timer (Rick Hoffman), suggests the film's other agenda -- the one that's not just grossing out and repulsively titillating an audience familiar with gore conventions. Whether or not Paxton recognizes his own consumerist frenzy in this pompous, too-excited goon, you can hardly miss the mirror images of grasping for hedonistic experiences at the expense of "native" cultures and compliant objects.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the film's rudimentary moral lessons. What lessons is it trying to convey about backpacking through Europe or class disparities? Or consider the film's evocations of movie conventions and its appeals to genre connoisseurs (including homages to executive producer Quentin Tarantino). Are these images cynical responses to a violent world or incisive commentary on violence in media?

  • What do you think is the appeal of horror movies like these? Is it the physical responses of fear that graphic and grisly violence inspires in audiences? Is it dark humor? Or the spectacle of horrific and stomach-churning imagery normally not seen in movies, even horror movies? 

  • What other horror movies have you seen? How does this one compare?

Movie details

  • In theaters: January 6, 2006
  • On DVD or streaming: April 18, 2006
  • Cast: Derek Richardson, Jay Hernandez, Jennifer Lim
  • Director: Eli Roth
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • Genre: Horror
  • Run time: 95 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: brutal scenes of torture and violence, strong sexual content, language and drug use.
  • Last updated: September 21, 2019

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