2004 [GERMAN]

Drama / Horror / Mystery

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 32%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 32% · 100 ratings
IMDb Rating 5.6/10 10 1789 1.8K

Top cast

720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
707.92 MB
German 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 17 min
Seeds 9
1.42 GB
German 5.1
23.976 fps
1 hr 17 min
Seeds 20

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by thecatcanwait 5 / 10

A dull hotel

Boring Austrian hotel requires boring receptionist to replace previous receptionist (probably also boring) who has disappeared, or been disappeared, into surrounding dark spooky forest; possibly gobbled up in the cave. By our Lady of the Woods. As boredom material.

Actually, I might have assumed too much there – imagined too much drama, or too much haunty horror. Which is no doubt what the director would like me to do: see all the strange goings on she's – deliberately – not been showing. And also reading into the narrative all the story she's not been developing, or even really providing. The new receptionist Irene never says very much; and the other characters don't say much to her either. Is something "funny" going to happen to her? Hopefully yes – otherwise watching this film will have felt like a waste of time.

Come the end something funny does happen to her. But it still felt like a waste of time. There's been too much concealed as opposed to revealed or released dramatic tension. The direction far too mutedly mannered. Far too withheld.

Reviewed by Horst_In_Translation 6 / 10

Dark and interesting, also stylistically convincing

"Hotel" is a German-language movie from 2004, so this one is already considerably older than a decade. It was written and directed by Jessica Hausner who is probably among Austria's most known filmmakers, maybe even top of the pile if we talk about females. This film received a pretty strong deal of awards recognition back then, for example also at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. It is a really short movie as it gets barely to the 75-minute mark and this already includes the credits. In terms of the cast, lead actress Franziska Weisz is among Austria's most known while Birgit Minichmayr made it even bigger and is really well-known here in Germany too. This film is the story of a young woman and we find out about her first days as a hotel employee. It is all about the mystery really. It is a film that is really uncomfortable to watch, but this atmospheric take also makes it so efficient. The woman who worked there before Weisz' character disappeared without a trace apparently and there are other creepy aspects about the film. I personally enjoyed the mystery more than supernatural references about witches, but that is of course just personal take. These parts (i.e. the middle part of the film) is where the movie does the least perhaps. The beginning is much better and the ending is really nice too, especially the very final shot and sound. The apparent dislike from the other employees towards the central character also add a lot to the story as you never know what is wrong with these people and what may be the reason for the reactions. The lost chain scene is one of the very best the film has to offer. So yeah, as a whole I can understand why this film was received so well, maybe not necessarily by critics, but by audiences. A lot stays in the dark and hidden here and this is exactly the approach I like. There is a reason why Blair Witch Project is my favorite horror film of all times. Sure this one here is not anywhere near that level or best of the year material, but it is worth checking out fur sure. It is also not really an actors' movie, but this is nothing new about horror films and frequently the case there. of course this doesn't mean that the actors were weak or anything. they are as good as the rest about it all. I suggest you watch it. Thumbs up.

Reviewed by two-rivers 10 / 10

Into the Deep Dark Forest

As in her previous film "Lovely Rita", Jessica Hausner creates a universe in which warm communication and deep understanding between human beings seems to be impossible. Irene arrives at the hotel, set right in the middle of a deep dark forest. She replaces an employee that has mysteriously disappeared… Those could be the core elements of a classic horror movie, but then we find out that "Hotel" is something more than just that.

The camera follows Irene closely on her lonely walks along the corridors of the hotel basement, into the forest or while she quietly breaststrokes in the deserted hotel swimming pool. But only once an unusual, "creepy" event takes place which could be typical for a horror movie: After one of her swims Irene finds her glasses on the floor, partly broken, and her chain, which she uses as a lucky charm and which a little earlier she had refused to lend to fellow employee Petra, has disappeared.

But there aren't any dramatic consequences. The chain reappears without much explication – it is said to have been found in the forest. This place, however, takes on a central significance in the film. People say that it is inhabited by a mysterious witch, although there is no actual evidence for that being more than just a legend. At least the witch can be seen as a puppet in a glass case somewhere in the hotel.

So the real horror is not a monster coming from the outside. It therefore must be innate in humans – just as Simon would put it in William Golding's famous novel "Lord of the Flies". But here the particular bad nature of mankind does not manifest itself in violent actions that can be seen on the surface. In "Hotel" humans behave in an even meaner way: their relationships are marked by the almost complete absence of warmth and mutual comprehension.

Nobody in the hotel is interested in establishing a friendly connection with Irene that goes beyond mere labor bonds. Being a newcomer in the hotel she nevertheless does not attract the curiosity of her companions. None of them wants to know anything about her circumstances of life. Irene, on the other hand, shows a longing for friendship, but is incapable of finding any fulfillment. On one occasion, she cannot find sleep because of some noise from the outside, and she eventually gets access to a room in which three people, Petra among them, are listening to music, drinking and smoking, pretending to have fun. But no real communication is going on, these people seem to be nothing more than ghosts. Finally Irene sits down in an armchair and falls asleep. When she wakes up, she finds those people gone, leaving behind nothing but the garbage they produced.

Another time, Irene is dancing alone in a disco, beside her a guy is doing the same, apparently longing for physical contact but unable to establish it. When later he has finally succeeded to do so, it becomes obvious that a physical connection is easier to have than an emotional or spiritual one. Some kisses are exchanged, significantly while exploring a deep dark cave, but not many words are spoken. So the relationship eventually is a failure and Irene's longings left unsatisfied.

Being deprived of a true love relationship and failing in her attempts to establish some kind of relationship to a colleague of the same sex, Irene decides to take a weekend off and return to the safe haven of humanity that might be represented by her parents. But also this attempt disappointingly breaks down. From a phone call to her parents, of which we can hear only Irene's part, it becomes evident that they are not exactly desperate to see her.

Bearing all this is mind, the final events of the movie become easily explainable. During an evening control walk in the hotel basement, Irene steps out into the fresh air to smoke a cigarette as she has done on previous occasions. And as also happened before, when she wants to get back inside, the entry door has mysteriously closed. But this time it is also locked… What is there to do? Instead of screaming for help or trying to find another entrance, Irene chooses a different solution. Without reluctance or hesitation she walks into the dark forest, a place that throughout the movie has been portrayed as haunted and dreadful. But apparently this is a better way out than having to return to that cold and inhospitable place that is represented by the hotel. A place in which human ghosts walk alongside each other without even the remotest touch of what all humans deep in their heart long for: true love and understanding.

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