The psychological horror film ‘Country of Hotels’ is set to premiere on several digital platforms, including Tubi, Kings of Horror, and Amazon Prime Video, on May 26. Directed by Julio Maria Martino, the surreal and darkly comedic film tells the stories of troubled souls passing through room 508, a dilapidated room on the fifth floor of an anonymous hotel.
According to director Martino, “When we were making Country of Hotels, we worked hard to create an environment which was relentlessly oppressive and claustrophobic, occasionally punctuated by moments of dark humor. An enclosed world in which an unseen, unnamed and mutable threat lurked behind hotel room doors and down long lonely corridors.” Martino aimed to construct a setting that was “highly idiosyncratic and very different from the outward appearance of most people’s daily lives.”
The psychological horror film aims to capture an alternate reality, focusing on “what happens if you step into a decaying, dilapidated hotel, lose your mind, and never leave.” However, Martino notes that “increasingly over the past few years, people’s daily existences in many parts of the world have come to resemble this experience.” While the film was not intended as a prediction of life under pandemic lockdowns, Martino recognizes that “it has fundamentally shifted from fantasy, towards reality.”
Martino cites the isolating experience of the COVID-19 pandemic in drawing parallels between the film and modern life. “Computer and television screens, together with the sounds of our own voices, have become our closest and most reliable companions; and the person knocking on our door brings with them a potentially deadly message,” he said. However, the film was conceptualized long before the pandemic brought such conditions into reality.
Starring Siobhán Hewlett, Matthew Leitch, Adam Leese, Michael Laurence, and Charles Pike, ‘Country of Hotels’ was written by David Hauptschein. Viewers can check into the surreal and ominous world of the film when it premieres on digital platforms on May 26. Promising an unsettling journey into “haunted lives” and the unknown terrors behind closed doors, ‘Country of Hotels’ is sure to get under the skin and stay there.
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