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Hotel (2004)

5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 1,038 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 29 critic

When Irene gets a job as a hotel maid she soon finds out that the previous girl disappeared in mysterious circumstances.

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Title: Hotel (2004)

Hotel (2004) on IMDb 5.4/10

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3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Franziska Weisz ...
Irene
Birgit Minichmayr ...
Petra
Marlene Streeruwitz ...
Mrs. Maschek
Rosa Waissnix ...
Mrs. Liebig
Christopher Schärf ...
Erik
Peter Strauß ...
Mr. Kross
Regina Fritsch ...
Mrs. Karin
Alfred Worel ...
Mr. Liebig
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert Birkner ...
Travel Guide
Thomas Frank ...
Landlord #2
Hakon Hirzenberger ...
Mr. Popp
Wolfgang Kostal ...
Inspector #1
Alexander Lugonja ...
Koch
Antonia Mayer ...
Daughter Ehrgartner
Michael Miksits ...
Landlord #1
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Storyline

When Irene gets a job as a hotel maid she soon finds out that the previous girl disappeared in mysterious circumstances.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Mystery

Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

1 April 2005 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

Hôtel  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rosa Waissnix is not a professional actress, she actually runs the hotel where the film was shot. Director Jessica Hausner convinced her to take over a part in her film. See more »

Soundtracks

Flötenkonzert Nr. 1 G-Dur KV 313
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Courtesy of Sonoton Music GmbH & Co KG
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User Reviews

 
Patience, Please...
15 December 2005 | by (That Parallel Universe Where What I Say Matters) – See all my reviews

Before I buy a flick on DVD, I read reviews. First, I come here to IMDb to see what other viewers think. Then, I seek professional reviews to help me determine whether or not I should shell out $20.

Had I listened (as I normally do) to these reviews, I wouldn't have gone anywhere near Hausner's "Hotel" and would've checked in at the Motel 6 down the block. It seems, across the board, the reviews of this film call it "technically adept, but dull," or they complain that "Nothing happens! There's no plot!" Indeed, I almost DID listen to these reviews, but something about the premise of "Hotel" intrigued me. So, I decided to buy it, and I just finished watching it ten minutes ago.

Suffice to say, I feel inclined to come to the aid of this much maligned film. First, I agree with many reviewers about how the film is photographed. Without question, it is technically adept. The cinematography is precise and beautiful; carefully crafted (and often static) shots fill this flick, much like a Tarkovsky film. Colors are both vibrant and menacing--especially the void-like blacks (of the night forest) between the gray bark of the bare trees. Also the sterile greens and grays of the hotel interior. And don't forget the blood reds (of the front-desk-clerk's uniform) as she disappears into those horribly beckoning trees...

Now onto the ubiquitous "nothing happens" complaint. The movie depends much more on atmosphere (and brilliantly so) than jump scares or plot turns. So if you are looking for big action, you will not find it in "Hotel." And (NEWS FLASH!) this is precisely the purpose of the film. Like many great films (and I'm not calling this great, just exceedingly well done and marginally upsetting--in a good way), this film does not tell the viewer what to think. In fact, most of time, it doesn't even show the viewer what happens. Imagine that! Indeed, this is where the IMAGINation of the viewer (if the viewer has ever practiced using his or her imagination) fills in the dreadfully empty gaps.

The hinted-at story of the "forest witch" who used to live in the cave near the hotel (and the accompanying tales of vanishing hikers in the thick forest) is anything but fairytale-like. The cold, black crack in the mountain wall (the cave itself) seeps off the screen as it draws in the new young hotel desk clerk inch by inch. There's a lot of pathos here--the nervousness of beginning a new job for our protagonist; the impersonal darkness and dead-end corridors of the angular hotel; generally unfriendly and persnickety (even zombie-like) coworkers (one of which, in an understated dramatic moment, soullessly tells the protagonist to "Leave the hotel" and begins reciting the Rosary while mechanically cleaning a room); the suggestion of a "disappearance" (or perhaps, supernatural murder) of the previous desk clerk and everyone's unwillingness to discuss it. Yes, there's plenty of pathos.

But a warning is in order: This is not "The Shining." Kubrick's great film had a lot of Big Wheel action and Nicholson's drooling and babbling. Hotel has neither. But to create its own sterile, haunting effect, "Hotel" doesn't need Redrum or Scatman Crothers.

The clincher, however, is the ending of "Hotel." (Editorial: It reached valiantly for similar territory as the ending of Tarkovsky's "Solaris," in my opinion--"Hotel" didn't quite make it, but WOW!) Of course, I read many reviews that complained that "Nothing is explained" in the end. Whine, whine, whine! I guess ever since the "big-splashy-ending-that-explains-everything-in-a-surprise-twist" of "The Sixth Sense" and similar films, viewers are spoiled and need everything explained in a way that knocks their socks off. Well, my socks were absolutely knocked across the damn room, and at the same time NOTHING was reduced to a nugget-like explanation! I thought the abrupt, strange, pushed-off-a-cliff feeling invoked by director Hausner was PERFECT! It will stick with me for a while, and I recommend this film because of it.

And to those of you who "want your money back" from this "boring" film, I suggest you relax. Stop watching movies with expectations of having your entire life (and the lives of those on screen) explained away into absolute nothingness. News Flash #2: You don't know everything; you can't know everything. In fact, you may know very little about ANYTHING. (Just like the protagonist in this film; she knows so little--even about herself--that she may in fact BE the dreaded witch who dispatched her predecessor--who knows?)

You want REALLY SCARY? Here's a suggestion: Try existing in uncertainty. That's where "Hotel" lives. It's probably the scariest of all places to be.


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