* AlasPoorScrappy: Sure, he may have been a JerkAss, but it is very hard not to feel sorry for Paxton when he's at the mercy of a psychotic German man who can't be reasoned with.
* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation:
** The guys in the first one, but mainly [[JerkAssWoobie Paxton]]. Unlikeable self-centered douchebag or [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold genuinely brave and heroic guy, going so far as to risk his life for a complete stranger, even if he is a bit of a douche at first.]]
** Svetlana. Her reluctance to accompany Paxton and Natalya to the factory was seen by some viewers as sign she is morally conflicted about what she does while others see her as a villain with no remorse at all.
** The American Businessman that Paxton encounters. A metaphor for what would have become of Paxton and his friends if they had continued to be nothing but [[JerkAss Jerkasses]] that want nothing but party and have sex, which would get to the point of them getting bored of it and then resorting to entering the Elite Hunting club and killing innocent people to get any sort of thrill, or just a pathetic attempt by Eli Roth of making the audience feel any sympathy toward the main characters by making [[BlackAndGrayMorality an even worse person than them]]?
** Did Paxton's torturer remove Paxton's ball gag after his {{Vomit Indiscretion Shot}} out of a brief moment of pity, or did he do it to prevent Paxton from drowning in his own vomit with the intention of killing him himself?
** Beth in the sequel. Did she [[spoiler: perform Stuart's [[GroinAttack castration]] solely to escape the facility, or did she truly evolve into a murderous monster just like the other Elite Hunting members?]]
* {{Anvilicious}}: The bidding war montage in the second movie makes a strong point how wide-ranged Elite Hunting's clientele actually is. For bonus impact, several of the fat cats casually place their bets while hanging out with their families. We get it, every loving wealthy family man could be a murderous psycho.
* AudienceAlienatingPremise: A movie where innocent people traveling through Europe are captured, [[AuctionOfEvil sold to the highest bidder]] and then [[TorturePorn tortured to death]]. The potential {{Squick}} and NightmareFuel is enough to keep many viewers away.
* CrossesTheLineTwice: The children playing soccer with a severed head.
** Made much easier to watch because the person deserved it.
* CastingGag: In part II the cannibal is played by Ruggero Deodato the director of ''Film/CannibalHolocaust''.
* DoubleStandard: The Slovaks were pissed off enough with the film portraying their country as an ensemble of [[{{Ruritania}} some of the most glaring and outdated East European clichés]] but they certainly didn't feel much better when director Eli Roth issued a formal apology... to the Icelandic Minister of Culture for having Eythor Gudjonsson star as a drunken Icelander.
* EvilIsSexy: The temptresses of Elite Hunting.
* HeReallyCanAct: The scene where Paxton runs into the American Client is considered one of the most chilling scenes of the movies by some people, due to Rick Hoffman's [[AxCrazy psychotic excitement]] about torturing Kana and Jay Hernandez's silent, but horrified reaction.
* JerkAssWoobie: Paxton and Whitney
* LesYay: Between Axelle and Beth.
* LoveItOrHateIt: There are those who really love ''Hostel'' (and arguably ''Hostel Part II''), but there are those who hate the film series in general due to it's usage of TorturePorn and JerkAss characters, pointed out several times by {{WebVieo/Phelous}}. Others simply call it a decent film.
* {{Narm}}: Josh's screaming sounds ''way'' too much like [[Series/SaturdayNightLive Mr. Bill]].
** Some of the torture scenes can come off as real eye-rollers to some viewers in just how relentlessly gory they try to be.
* MoralEventHorizon: Natalya [[EvilLaugh laughing]] [[KickTheDog at Paxton's horrified reaction]] to see [[spoiler: his friend Josh having been killed]] ''immediately'' begs someone to give her hell.
** In the sequel, [[spoiler: Stuart loses all sympathy when he murders Whitney in cold blood.]]
* NightmareFuel: Just the idea that you could go backpacking anywhere and find yourself pulled into a torturous hell will make you rethink going backpacking, let ''alone travel anywhere''.
** The director's cut ending: [[spoiler: Paxton kidnaps the Dutch businessman's daughter to get revenge on him]]. That ''alone'' puts AdultFear all over, even if [[spoiler: the Dutch businessman did some horrendous shit.]].
** The complete 180 of [[spoiler: the Dutch Businessman]] and [[spoiler: Stuart]] in ''Hostel I'' and ''II'' respectively from friendly and decent people to total psychopaths, which emphasizes just how murderous ordinary people can be given the opportunity.
** '''The American Client'''. He appears for only a [[OneSceneWonder brief moment]], but between his casual chat with Paxton about how much of a thrill it is to torture innocent people, and how [[AxCrazy completely unhinged]] he shows he is all the while, it's definitely a moment nobody would want to experience.
* NauseaFuel: To the point where even the protagonists just can't help it.
* ParanoiaFuel: As mentioned under NightmareFuel above, many critics have commented that this movie did to backpacking in Europe what ''{{Film/Psycho}}'' did to showering in motels.
* PlayingAgainstType: [[Film/TheProducers Roger Bart]], who, ''Series/DesperateHousewives'' aside, tends to play bright and friendly roles as the villain of the second film. And he still mostly seems nice.
* SignatureScene: The very horrific BloodBath scene in the sequel.
* {{Squick}}: Any scene from all three movies is fair game, but special mention goes to a certain [[EyeScream eye-snipping]] scene in the first one.
* TheWoobie: Poor Josh... [[spoiler: Sexually inexperienced and possibly gay man who's yet to explore his sexuality due to a fear of losing his closest friend. Not only that, but Josh is also the nicest person in the series and suffers one of the most horrific and painful deaths.]]
* WTHCastingAgency: The BigBad Sasha is played by... Milan Kňažko, ''former Slovak Minister of '''Culture'''''.