David Lynch has become a master at making films that express what it feels like to experience a dream. Eraserhead is a borderline waking nightmare, where everything is close enough to reality to feel normal but little pieces are wrong and create a painful sense of unease. Fight Club is another case where for a majority of the film it seems like it takes place in a skewed reality but close enough where our main character is unsure what he can trust in the world. On the opposite side, there are films that just experience dreams as incoherent experiences and situations, that only have a small sliver connecting them to reality. While Hotel can be commended for trying to tackle the difficult task of expressing dreams, it does it in a way that makes the short feel like nothing but images with no plot.
Late at night, a man is awake flipping through the channels, unable to sleep as a woman sleeps next to him. When a loud assault of crackling noise erupts from the TV the man starts to dose off and falls to sleep. From the black we see the man covered in blood with a knife, having just killed a woman and he moves on to stab the bellhop. A maid sees the carnage and starts to run away with the man in hot pursuit. She runs into a theater in hopes of escaping him, but the real horror and confusion has just begun when she steps onto the stage.
It is heavily implied from the start that most of the short takes place in the man’s dream which would give Hotel a pass for the strangeness that transpires, but it comes off as boring when you just have things happening with no story attached. Spoiler alert the short ends with the man waking up and he has stabbed the woman in the bed with him to death, but it doesn’t feel earned, it just feels like another thing that happened. While they try to pass this off with a shot, that was so quick I had to pause it, of a medicine bottle that says “do not take with alcohol” it just feels like an empty end to a shallow at best short.
2 out of 10