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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Murderers are brutal, mostly silent, and implacable; protagonists are surly at first, then generous in their efforts to save each other.
Violence & Scariness
Brief discussion of a child who died before the film begins. Horror and chase scenes include scary pounding, a jump scene, and repeated efforts to inflict brutality. Snuff tapes are horrifically violent, bloody, and stark; they're left in the motel room to generate fear in victims to be; violence includes stabbing, neck cutting, kicking, hitting, and car smashing; bloodcurdling screams emerge from behind an office door (presumably from a TV); weapons include knives, a cable, and a six shooter. A horrified woman watches from a hiding place as her husband is stabbed.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Naked body parts visible in the snuff tapes (legs, breasts); desperate kissing by couple in danger.
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Lots of language, including multiple uses of "f--k" (at least 26), in addition to repeated uses of "b--ch," "son of a b--ch," "goddamn," "s--t," "hell," "a--hole," with come colorful phrases too ("Stinky as an old whore," "I'll take care of this prick").
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
References to David's use of "trucker pills" to stay awake and Amy's prescription medication (Zoloft, Prozac); viewers see her take a pill, which causes her to fall asleep while hiding.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this horror movie isn't for kids, even those who like star Luke Wilson based on his romantic comedies. The violence is bloody and, once it starts, incessant. The prelude is even worse (snuff tapes show horrific attacks on victims with big knives, with screaming women's breasts exposed). The female lead takes prescription pills to combat depression; language includes lots of "f--k"s and plenty of other swearing. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
VACANCY opens with a bracing credits sequence that's all hard angles, stark colors (red, black, yellow), and terrific, '60s-style score. It's an efficient introduction to a movie that knows just what it is: Eighty minutes of mostly entertaining tension punctuated by violence engineered by a nerdy creep using criminally outdated technology.
As contrived and regular as the couple's situation soon turns (they tearfully reunite in jeopardy, potential saviors don't work out, every door leads to another yucky room, etc.), the movie maintains a nervous pace and a lively look made up of skewed angles, ooky lighting, and all sorts of handheld commotion. Neat in its own grisly way, Vacancy delivers what it promises.
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Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate