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I have to wonder if Stefan Lernous’ Hotel Poseidon is his interpretation of the classic Eagles song, “Hotel California?” I know the lyrics all too well, and although the band acknowledged the song was about hedonism and excess (in America), this film is the polar opposite. It’s a story about despair and urban decay.
Dave (Tom Vermeir) is the manager, and he doesn’t care if his building regularly gets guests in or not. When Nora (Anneke Sluiters) sweetly talks her way in, he’s hardly swooning.
His mother, Lucy, provides the money to keep the place going. It’s barely enough to maintain everything, much less even pay maids to clean up the perpetual mess.
This experimental film toys with viewers in not quite giving viewers a straightforward plot. Instead it meanders from one situation Dave must face to another, and hopes people can get what’s going on. Music wise, I’d compare the visual experience to the analogies made in The Doors song, “People are Strange.” Thinking about this tune is the only way for me to make sense of this oddball ghost story. It’s more so about how Dave is in a perpetual stupor.
Neither are the other people who’ve taken up residence in Hotel Poseidon. When there’s an associate of Dave who wants to turn the place around, that seed of a plot keeps me curious about where the story will go.
While the only dread is about individuals having an existential crisis, that’s enough for some to call this movie bloody brilliant. But for others struggling with the content, it’s time to switch gears and perhaps consider another down the street. We don’t know the name, but I can hear the screams from the shower already.