Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    What kind of hellspawn might result if "Saw" bought a copy of "Let's Go: Europe" and went backpacking across Europe to have a one-night stand with Dracula? Something like Hostel.
  2. 75
    It's a back-to-basics, gore-and-gristle look at the no-frills nastiness of 1970s films, in which monsters, mutants and ghosts can't hold a candle to the sheer, unadulterated evil that lurks in the hearts of men.
  3. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    The entertainingly unhinged Hostel reeks of kneeling reverence to the grisliest of psychotronica while simultaneously striving to out-gore and out-shock its predecessors.
  4. It's obligatory for a horror film to feature exploitative sex as an appetizer, but Roth, even as he fulfills the sleaze imperative, does something shrewder: He mocks his heroes, presenting them as cold-eyed horndog jerks who fail to see that they've wandered into an entire country of exploitation.
  5. Eli Roth turns to modern-day Asian fright filmmakers as inspiration for his latest blood-soaked effort while demonstrating an intriguing, original voice of his own.
  6. 70
    I admired the humor, the tremendous craftsmanship and even the shock value of Hostel, but found the Grand Guignol torture scenes excessive. (Unless you're a hardcore fan of Italian, Spanish and Japanese gore flicks, you've never seen anything like this.)
  7. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    Hostel may become something of a classic among Fangoria magazine's readership, acolytes of George Romero and audiences who thought "Saw II" was for babies.
  8. 70
    There's a reason why one goes to see cinematic gorefests like Hostel: to partake vicariously of the bloodfest, to get hopped up on the sickness of it all, the utter degradation, the fall of Western Civilization, yadda yadda yadda, and oh yeah, to hoot at the flying fingers, the guts, the blood, the bare breasts.
  9. The thing is just a clunky and tasteless and dumb scare picture, isn't it? Clunky, yes. Tasteless, for sure. But not so dumb I fear.
  10. Reviewed by: Simon Crook
    This is an old-school exercise in shock and gore, with scary ideas and unblinking splatter.
  11. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Although he damn near slanders an entire country - expect poor Slovakia's tourism industry to take a hit - Roth is not an unskilled ringleader of gory crisis moments, or breathless escapes. The squeamish should simply stay away, but carnage queens will appreciate some of Roth's less grisly, even amusing details.
  12. 60
    Seems to have been tailored to its designated R "for brutal scenes of torture and violence, strong sexual content, language and drug use."
  13. 50
    Not horrifying enough.
  14. 50
    A thrill-less thriller that uses gore to obfuscate its inability to generate tension, this motion picture has the profile one might expect from a direct-to-video release.
  15. Reviewed by: Stina Chyn
    What prevents Hostel from fully harnessing the suspense factor in its rising action, climax, and conflict resolution is the insufficient impetus to pity or to feel too badly for Paxton and Josh.
  16. 50
    Hostel certainly delivers in the gore department, and Roth, who knows and loves his favorite genre at least as well as the gang over at the Alamo Drafthouse, peppers the proceedings with various witty in-jokes.
  17. 50
    Falling somewhere between fratboy porno wish fulfillment and Europhobic sex-tourism scare flick, Eli Roth's taut, wily, but ultimately pointless shocker Hostel is neither as transgressive nor as grueling as it aims to be.
  18. Reviewed by: Joshua Katzman
    Director Eli Roth is adept at building a sense of foreboding; unfortunately, once the bloodletting begins, all sense of drama and logic oozes out along with it.
  19. 50
    Roth gets the notes right while missing the music: He studiously replicates Miike's unblinking depiction of torture, but without much reflection or wit. It's merely unpleasant and more than a little dumb.
  20. Reviewed by: Nathan Lee
    Hostel is motivated by an adolescent urge to shock. And while it's true that no civilized person will remain unscathed by the film's relentless bigotry - this is one of the most misogynistic films ever made - Mr. Roth's gory spectacles are too calculated to deliver the transgressive jolts they so obviously seek.
  21. The question is, can a Slovakian lawsuit against the filmmaker be far behind?
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 334 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 64 out of 116
  2. Negative: 41 out of 116
  1. Jul 20, 2013
    Hostel is the first torture porn horror that scared me and disturbed me, it is funny and entertaining, but with a build up that people will criticize on, I think that such movies should have such executions, because if the climax starts from the beginning, you will be bored half through the movie. Albeit that the story needs more explanation, it terrifies indeed. The acting is good as far as a horror movie go, it is better than other horror movies. The action sequences are will done, they are intense, and the plot is interesting, it is a really great horror movies, that will scare and terrify, almost anyone. Full Review »
  2. Oct 3, 2011
    This film actually has the power to impress when it comes to gore, but lacks the movie story to be complete, I still do not know what the true meaning of the tattoo used in the film. And I still do not know anyone who founded the empire of murder. I just to know who the leader is behind all this, but not the purpose. As already mentioned, the film is good in the gore category, but just as impressive film images, but as a good movie needs a good story I'm going to grade 6 for the lack of story that could make this film much more interesting Full Review »
  3. Jul 7, 2011
    Let me say to start that I am NOT the target audience for this movie. This moive is more for the gore for the sake of gore crowd, anyone else watching this movie has chosen to punish themselves. This movie has no higher purpose, no greater wisdom, no real story. Hack and slash, hack and slash. Full Review »