Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
Hostel Movie Poster Image
Extremely brutal and graphic; not for the faint of heart.
  • R
  • 2006
  • 95 minutes

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 31 reviews

Kids say

age 16+
Based on 44 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive messages

Rich people pay money to torture young tourists.


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).


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


Bars advertise brands of beer.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

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

What 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").

User Reviews

Adult Written byCSM Screen Name... April 9, 2008

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 perversi... Continue reading
Adult Written byskyjal April 9, 2008


I don't think this ADULTS should be watching this movie! I'm sorry I paid for the ticket! VERY disturbing!
Teen, 13 years old Written byVictorfilth818 July 9, 2010


This movie was so sick it makes Saw look like a Chick Flick :D I love Slasher Flicks like this :D If you dont like anything Gorey or if you get sick easy or are... 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

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

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