At the sleazy Motel Mistress on the outskirts of Bangkok, a creepy old man takes schoolgirl Laila into his custom-made Red Room, where he inflicts a number of his kinkiest fantasies upon her - pursued by her friend, who hopes to save Laila from the old perv’s cruelties. Meanwhile, former child star Tul locks himself away in one of the motel’s other rooms, tortured under the delusion that aliens are coming to abduct him. Motel staff boy Tot is hot on his trail too, with an eye on making a lot of money from finding the star.
These disparate lives and personalities intertwine (eventually) at Motel Mistress, in an erotically-charged cross between Four Rooms and the recent Chinese animation Have a Nice Day. Plot and incident is not so important to Motel Mist as mood, atmosphere and the occasional flight of surrealist fancy. It’s the sort of genre-ish movie in which characters do nothing for long stretches of time while the camera just sits and observes; like a comedy sketch that ‘hilariously’ goes on for far too long or a video stuck while buffering.
This is a low-rent Takashi Miike-esque picture without the auteur’s vision or skill. Its primary story, of two girls turning the tables on an exploitative old monster, is reminiscent of Audition, but director Prabda Yoon never quite goes far or hard enough. Lovers of S&M won’t be thanking Yoon for his fifty shades of moral grey areas, his film being yet another exercise in kink-shaming and stereotype.
The two-hour runtime and lack of structure will test one’s patience, but Motel Mist is weirdly hypnotic and enjoyably unsettling; an erotic odyssey into violent fetish, dysfunction and exploitation that one can’t quite look away from - at the same time as it turns one’s stomach.
MOTEL MIST / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: PRABDO YOON / STARRING: PRAPAMONTON EIAMCHAN, VASUPHON KRIANGPRAPAKIT, WISSANU LIKITSATHAPORN / RELEASE DATE: APRIL 9TH (US), TBC (UK)