If you’re driving down a remote desert highway and are feeling a bit tired, you know the last thing you should do is check into a skeevy motel at the side of the road. It is tantamount to a death sentence! Anyone with common sense knows that. Even a well-heeled hotel stay won’t save you. So, just… sleep in your car. Stay at home. Where it’s safe. Until the home invasion comes looking for you.
Come to think of it, nowhere is safe. You might as well check in. Just make sure to have your luggage nearby, sleep on top of the covers, your car keys in your pocket, and your cell phone fully charged because you never know when you might need a quick getaway. But in horror cinema, even those wise precautions might not save you because the whole situation might just be a time loop paradox or an extraplanar illusion.
Just remember it was your choice to go on vacation. The doom you instigated was a destiny of your own decision. Check out by 10 a.m. and leave your keys in the box at the bell desk. Enjoy your stay!
Hotel and more often, motel horror is underrated as a horror movie trope. It has a proud tradition that includes some of the giants in horror film history and now with the AirBnB/Vrbo home resort rentals, there is a new variant to the trope. There is something about leaving the comforts of home that can make a lot of people uneasy. Add into the mix the potential for the place to be, shall we say, a little worn and it gets your imagination working.
The Scariest Things explores the latent fear of staying in a strange place in Episode 163: Hotel-Motel-BnB Horror!
PS: Two recent indie horror movies that were not discussed at length in the Podcast that Eric highly recommends are The Night and Superhost.