REVIEW: 'Introspectum Motel' (2021), a thriller feature by Flying Mobula Films Ltd.
Updated: Jun 1
Introspectum Motel is a psychological thriller taking you straight to the heart of love and lust, holding up a mirror to our most desperate and primal selves.
Outside the Spotlight says: The theme of adultery and the idea of holding one hostage are two concepts not already wildly unexplored and Introspectum Motel is a little Fatal Attraction, a little Hard Candy and a little Hush Money but presents something wildly interesting with a rather basic premise of cheating and revenge but where it lacks in quantity (complete with a very small cast and limited locations), it more than makes up for in quality.
Introspectum Motel is about a successful businessman who goes away on a conference trip absent of his wife but very much present in the arms of another woman. Unfortunately, the classic "the truth always comes out" really is something that Phillipe should have paid attention to. As stated, the plot is not particularly complex but what drives Introspectum Motel is the sinister unravelling of those truths, and the layers of lies that have been blocking the rabbit hole that ultimately gets fallen into. Both Phillipe and his companion, Camille (Gabriella Brinza), become trapped inside the motel and learn that their wonderland faces its jabberwock.
Marcel Dorian is wonderfully unlikeable as Phillipe. At first, the seemingly awkward dialogue and emotionless presentation of Phillipe felt as if there was something missing but became abundantly clear that the cold, distant demeanor was just that; a little like Don Draper with less charm, selfish, cold, unwilling to take responsibility for his actions and lover of tarts. Dorian's best work in this film as an actor comes when he's scared for his life under the pressure of losing everything, with a real sense of helplessness but a strong head for negotiation.
Speaking of, the performances are all top notch, and are arguably the strongest aspact of the entire affair. If you watch Introspectum Motel for nothing else, watch it for the performances. The cast is very small with only 8 in total and the vast majority of screen time going to only 2 others in Phillipe's captor, Paul and Phillipe's wife, Susan.
Paul, portrayed by Joseph Steyne speaks in philosophical rambles and perfectly portrays a man consumed by hate (and a lot of alcohol) but the star of the film is Michelle J. Wright as Phillipe's vengeful wife, who we'll call the motel's red queen. Susan turns out to be, as these go, far more than meets the eye, eventually starting to cross over into horror movie territory with an evil Cheshire cat grin becoming genuinely frightening towards the closing moments.
The majority of the film is very angry and confrontational and the dialogue is beautifully written, like menacing poetry with plenty of dark humour and forbidding one-liners that are genuinely funny at times. As you might expect, things do get quite steamy on-screen and it is easy for a film to throw in sex as a bit of an afterthought or for no clear reason other than "sex sells", but at no point during Introspectum Motel did the sex feel meaningless.
The almost year-long wait to see Introspectum Motel since sharing the trailer here on Outside the Spotlight in July of 2020 was worthwhile and certainly one that is very exciting to share with all of you.
- About the director -
My name is Marcel Dorian and I am a London based classically trained actor of mixed nationalities (french-hungarian-slovakian-romanian) who boasts a colourful background. I am well-travelled and speak English, Hungarian, Romanian and some Italian and German. I have experience both in theatre and in film, as well as commercials and music videos.
Because of my multicultural heritage and my previous theatre acting experience across Europe I believe I can bring an interesting and unique shade to the characters and projects I work in. I am accustomed to many european accents, that I have used along the way (italian, german, french, east european) I have good stage combat skills due to karate and ballet background. I am also a confident swimmer and motorcycle rider. I am pretty good on a horse too. I take pride in my work because I put all my passion in it and I approach each character with curiosity and intensity.
- Marcel Dorian (director, co-writer, co-producer/actor)
Watch the trailer for Introspectum Motel below:
AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS:
Won: Toronto Independent Film Awards: Best Film
Nominated: Prague Independent Film Festival: Best Film, Best Actor
Laura Ellen Wilson
Michelle J. Wright
Director: Marcel Dorian
Writers: Marcel Dorian, Ian Armer, Amanda Webster
Producers: Marcel Dorian, Gabriela Brinza, Iain Thomson
For the full cast and crew, visit Introspectum Motel on IMDb
Find out more:
Find Macel Dorian on YouTube for behind the scenes and filmmaking insights
Find Michelle J. Wright on YouTube
[Custom poster designed and artworked by Outside the Spotlight]