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New Release Review (VOD) - HOTEL OF THE DAMNED

On the run mobsters become cannibal fodder when they hide out in an abandoned hotel.






Review by Sue Finn (@fountainclown)

Directed by: Bobby Barbacioru

Starring: Louis Mandylor, Roxana LucaPeter Dobson, Manuela Harabor, Oltin Hurezeanu



Hotel of the Damned is, for all intents and purposes, a slasher movie. The filmmakers have chosen to combine this genre with a mob movie and the ‘backwoods freaks’ sub genre, which should have added some interest, but sadly just made it feel overly ambitious and muddy.


Some films are harder to review than others; sometimes because you don’t want to reveal a crucial plot point, sometimes because you don’t want to be too harsh on a well intentioned movie, and sometimes, as is the case here, because you truly have no strong feelings about it at all.

Hotel of the Damned stars Louis Mandylor (of Saw franchise hell) as recently released from Romanian jail mob man Nicky, who wants to reconnect with his daughter Eliza (Roxana Luca).

After a poorly staged kidnapping of Eliza and her new boyfriend Bogden, Mandylor hits the road with his old mob buddy Jimmy (Peter Dobson – decent) tagging along for the ride.



En route to who knows where, they get into a car accident after hitting a disheveled and terrified woman who stumbles into the road (a leftover character from an earlier add-nothing teaser).

With the car totaled and each sporting a sticky looking head wound, they head to the nearest abode to recoup, and happen to pick an abandoned hotel that is not so abandoned and is now home to a troupe of interchangeable cannibals.

Obviously this leads to a snoozefest of a cat and mouse tale with our intrepid survivors running about the hotel to avoid becoming someone’s Sunday roast.

This ‘excitement’ is interspersed with flashbacks to how Nicky managed to locate his daughter, presumably to show what a badass he is and that he will go to any lengths to rekindle their dying relationship. Spoiler alert – by the end they are bosom buddies, the surplus characters have been done away with, and you can enjoy the cheap and cheesy credits after the obligatory ‘final jump scare’.



There is no way to discuss this film without bringing up the acting of Roxana Luca. I’m unsure why she was cast in such a pivotal role when, I’m not going to sugar coat it, she is quite frankly a terrible actress. Not a single line was believable, and she sapped the film of any emotional resonance it may have had.

However, the movie was probably doomed anyway.

This is a lazy film; there are no scares, the effects team are asleep at the wheel, the sets are unimaginative and Mandylor’s limited talents are wasted on a soggy, pedestrian script.

It's directed with a type of manic freneticism by Bobby Barbacioru that feels both forced and tricksy, as if he just discovered the slow motion/speed up button and then used it on every damn frame.



Hotel of the Damned is, for all intents and purposes, a slasher movie. The filmmakers have chosen to combine this genre with a mob movie and the ‘backwoods freaks’ sub genre, which should have added some interest, but sadly just made it feel overly ambitious and muddy.

And the gore? What of it? There is none. Imagine if Eli Roth had cut away before that achilles shot in Hostel? Or before that victim fell away in pieces from that tree in Wrong Turn?

You cannot make a film about machete wielding cannibals and not revel in the gore factor. It really is the pay off for this kind of movie. The acting and storyline are nowhere near good enough to forgive it for the lack of strong gore.

All in all - forgettable, obvious and boring.

Don’t bother checking in, the only people damned in this hotel are the audience.

Hotel of the Damned is on VOD now.





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