Hostel

  • Review Date: April 17, 2006
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 95 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Extremely brutal and graphic; not for the faint of heart.
  • Review Date: April 17, 2006
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 95 minutes

Age(i)

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Rich people pay money to torture young tourists.

Violence

Gruesome, ongoing violence, in the form of torture and vengeful resistance to same (instruments include chainsaws, guns, knives, scissors, clippers, drills, hammers, pincers, and cars).

Sex

Blatant female nudity (including one brief full frontal shot), sexual activity, incessant sexual slang and derogatory language.

Language

Over 100 uses of the f-word in various forms, plus slang for genitals and sexual behaviors, plus assorted uses of "damn," "Jesus," and "hell."

Consumerism

Bars advertise brands of beer.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters smoke, drink to drunkenness, and do multiple drugs.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film 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 girls' 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 f-words, derogatory terms like "faggot" and, in this context, "gay," slang for genitals, "damn," "hell").

Parents say

Kids say

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 intoxicated 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?

QUALITY
 

HOSTEL is as brutal a film as you're likely to see this year. This is 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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the film's rudimentary moral lessons. What lessons is the film trying to convey about backpacking through Europe or class disparities? Or, you might consider the film's evocations of movie conventions, 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?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 6, 2006
DVD release date: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.

This review of Hostel was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byCSM Screen Name... April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

I didn't even watch the whole movie it made me SO disgusted!

Unfortunately I went to the theater that night not even knowing what I was going to watch. This movie is so full of blatant sex scenes, nude women and perversion, I couldn't stand to watch any more of it. Later, I heard from some people I know; that this is the goriest movie they've ever seen. This movie made me more disgusted than any movie I've seen yet; and I've seen some movies that I wish I hadn't seen...but this one doesn't even compare. This movie should have definately been rated stronger than R.
Adult Written byskyjal April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Woah!

I don't think this ADULTS should be watching this movie! I'm sorry I paid for the ticket! VERY disturbing!
Parent Written bybelletab October 29, 2011
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

not for my kids

I was very disturbed myself
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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