YMMV / Hostel

  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • The guys in the first one, but mainly Paxton. Unlikeable self-centered douchebag or 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 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 an even worse person than them?
  • 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...
  • Audience-Alienating Premise: A movie where innocent people traveling through Europe are captured, sold to the highest bidder and then tortured to death. The potential Squick and Nightmare Fuel is enough to keep many viewers away.
  • Casting Gag: In part II the cannibal is played by Ruggero Deodato the director of Cannibal Holocaust.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: The children playing soccer with a severed head.
    • Made much easier to watch because the person deserved it.
  • Double Standard: The Slovaks were pissed off enough with the film portraying their country as an ensemble of some of the most glaring and outdated East European clichés but they certainly didn't feel much better when director Eli Roth issued a formal apology...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.
  • Evil Is Sexy: The temptresses of Elite Hunting.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Lorna's. Screaming.
  • He Really Can Act: 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 psychotic excitement about torturing Kana and Jay Hernandez's silent, but horrified reaction.
  • Jerk Ass Woobie: Paxton and Whitney
  • Les Yay: Between Axelle and Beth.
  • Love It or Hate It: 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 Torture Porn and Jerk Ass characters, pointed out several times by Phelous. Others simply call it a decent film.
  • Narm: Josh's screaming sounds way too much like Mr. Bill.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Natalya laughing at Paxton's horrified reaction to see his friend Josh having been killed immediately begs someone to give her hell.
  • Nightmare Fuel: 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: Paxton kidnaps the Dutch businessman's daughter to get revenge on him. That alone puts Adult Fear all over, even if the Dutch businessman did some horrendous shit..
  • Nausea Fuel: To the point where even the protagonists just can't help it.
  • Paranoia Fuel: As mentioned under Nightmare Fuel above, many critics have commented that this movie did to backpacking in Europe what Psycho did to showering in motels.
  • Playing Against Type: Roger Bart, who, Desperate Housewives aside, tends to play bright and friendly roles as the villain of the second film. And he still mostly seems nice.
  • The Woobie: Poor Josh... 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.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: The Ax-Crazy Sasha is played by... Milan Kňažko, former Slovak Minister of Culture.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/Hostel