Get transported to old-timey days in good old-fashioned ghost stories about haunted corridors and lost loves in The Haunted Hotel (2021). An anthology of horrors with a running theme of a paranormal hotel setting, The Haunted Hotel is not quite a Halloween movie, however, its lighter style of horror makes it seem as though this movie would be perfect for a spooky viewing appropriate for all audiences.
Sans jumpscares and gore, The Haunted Hotel is more along the lines of Charles Dickens’ kind of horror — old-fashioned, good clean terror born from the psychosis of human minds trying to wrap their minds around death — their own death, the death of loved ones, and evil spirits that result from the unpleasant deaths of others. As far as anthologies go, The Haunted Hotel was a very well-put-together movie, with each short being both distinct but perfectly connected to The Haunted Hotel‘s running theme.
Though each short was high in production quality, there are a few shorts that stand out from the rest by their original and well-directed stories. My favorites begin to take place around the 30-minute mark, where the 4th through the 6th chapters of this anthology had me absolutely glued to the screen with riveting, unique, and eerie stories. “The Writer” directed by Joshua Dickinson, the fourth chapter, is a heavy and intense psychological thriller about a novelist haunted by his career, the fifth, “Room 27b” directed by Adam Collier, is about a saint in the form of a specter, and the sixth, “Housekeeping” directed by “Deveril,” is about a haunted room with a need to kill.
The seventh, titled “A Ghost of a Chance” and directed by Jane Gull, is also something really special, which was one of the few humorous horrors within the anthology, and in my opinion, is due for a feature-length film; its comedic sensibilities reminded me of Tim Burton, but somehow even kookier. In my opinion, the viewing as a whole really only faltered with the ending short whose story and direction was not quite as unique and understandable as the others, however, overall, The Haunted Hotel is an anthology series that is one fun and adventurous ride through time.
The Haunted Hotel just gets better and better with every new story, comprised of stories with diverse casts, great cinematography, color, and costuming in each short that made the film pop aesthetically, and the film boasts truly new ways of approaching ghost stories. The Haunted Hotel can be thought of as a period piece of sorts, with each story being set somewhere between the mid-1800s and 2019, making it a great movie for period-piece horror lovers, who will get a taste of terror from the 1870s, 1970s, and many more decades.
MOVIE RATING — 7.25 out of 10