The stuffy provincial atmosphere reminds me of "Requiem" or "Dogville", but the lighting is more like "2046" or "The Matrix". Irene (Franziska Weisz) is the new girl at the movie's eponymous hotel. She isn't the paranoid type, but soon feels slightly claustrophobic nevertheless. In fact, neither Irene nor the camera get to leave the hotel until 20 minutes into the movie. Although her colleagues' disposition ranges from grumpy to openly hostile, she can't be sure she'd be better off outside. We are led to believe the girl Irene is replacing went out and never came back. For there's a witch lurking in the forest. Or something. No matter where Irene goes, there are curtains everywhere to conceal the truth. The fact that there is no music other than from the creaky speaker in the elevator (and Irene's noisy next-door neighbors) adds to the eerie mood. There are obvious overtones of "Lost Highway", especially when Irene discovers she looks almost exactly like the missing girl. Of course, there is no living up to this promise. "Hotel" is probably a little too stylish for its own good, but it's a real pleasure to look at and leaves you feeling agreeably spooked.
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