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Vacancy Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… nice, grimy, tense atmosphere … Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    While the sadism doesn't stoop -- rise? -- to the level of the "Saw" horror-thrillers, Vacancy does have a name cast.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today

    It isn't the Bates Motel, but the Pinewood Motel has enough creepy visitors and creaky floors to make Vacancy worth checking into for 90 minutes.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Vacancy is a schlock surprise: a no-frills motel-hell slasher film -- with a bit of soul.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Wilmington

    It's a sordid but expert shocker.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Vacancy reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Taut, grisly horror movie has unexpected bite.

What 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.

  • Families can talk about the fact that many horror movies use a familiar formula -- protagonists stuck somewhere terrifying -- to put viewers in another familiar place: being afraid at the movies. Why do people like being scared at the movies? What makes some horror movies better at accomplishing this goal than others? Does it matter that many of them end in similar ways? Families can also talk about how Amy and David's experience in the motel brings them back together, as their past becomes less important than their efforts to survive.

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Murderers are brutal, mostly silent, and implacable; protagonists are surly at first, then generous in their efforts to save each other.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: 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.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Naked body parts visible in the snuff tapes (legs, breasts); desperate kissing by couple in danger.

  • language false3

    Language: 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").

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and 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.