April 4, 2019 Motel Mist (Movie Review)
Billed as a Sci-Fi Thriller, Motel Mist is a new film from Writer/Director Prabda Yoon (Invisible Waves 2006, Someone from Nowhere 2017) set for release on DVD, as well as VOD, on Tuesday, April 9th through Breaking Glass Pictures.
The story begins with Sopol (Surapol Poonpiriya: Hormones 2013, In Family We Trust 2018), a typical older Thai father figure who just so happens to have a penchant for deviously dangerous sexual fetishes. He also has a thing for young girls. He picks up Laila (Prapamonton Elamchan: Nakorn-Sawan 2018, Only the mountain remains 2018), a young girl, from school and they head to the love motel, Motel Mistress on the outskirts of Bangkok. While Sopol is more than aroused by the impending tryst, Laila is obviously visibly distressed, but goes along with him anyway.
Motel Mistress is run by Tot (Wissanu Likitsathaporn: Only the mountain remains 2018), a bleached blond young guy decked out in ripped jeans and a Mars Attacks! T-shirt. He aspires to be something more than what the motel offers to him, but for now he is there to cater to the whims of the clients of the motel. He quickly ushers Sopol and Lalia to Room 7; Sopol’s own personal fetish den.
Then there is Tul (Vasuphon Kriangprapakit: in his debut), a very famous former child star who recently disappeared, and the media is all over trying to locate him. The theory is that he is having a mental breakdown and believes that he is communicating with aliens. Tul also finds himself arriving at the motel. These four people all came to the Motel Mistress for different reasons. What is it that will ultimately tie them all together?
Motel Mist feels like two separate films cobbled together with the only the motel itself holding it together. The story surrounding Sopol and Lalia is uncomfortably interesting. Poonpiriya’s Sopol is still somewhat likable and charming even though he radiates major creepy vibes. He, after all, constantly refers to Laila as a child, yet she is the target of his current deviant sexual desire. The expressions of Elamchan’s Laila often mirror the viewer’s own. She is disgusted, uncomfortable, and bored. She does not want to be in the situation she is in, and through her face alone, makes no secret of that.
With the arrival of her friend, Vicky (Katareeya Theapchatri: Fail Stage 2017), you eventually do find out why she has put herself in such a despicable situation, but the film does not devote nearly enough time for it to have much impact. By that point, the viewer may just be wishing the film and the whole ordeal to be over. This bizarre entanglement should have been the only focus of the film. Had it been, Motel Mist would be a far more captivating film.
The other part of the film focuses on the aforementioned Tul. Tul only utters a handful of words the entire film. Everything else known about his character comes from Kriangprapakit’s jarringly creepy movements. He thinks he is some kind of conduit for aliens. Why he had to be at the motel and the things he does while there is never really explained. The character is interesting on its own but does not have any real connection to the rest of the film. Any and all interaction he does have with anyone else feels forced and unnecessary.
All this said, the best aspect of Motel Mist is the set designs; every motel room is different. Tul’s Room 5 is brightly colored with whites and blues. The bed has a futuristic space like feel to it. The room itself is inviting to start. This is the polar opposite of Sopol’s den of depravity in Room 7. The lounge area walls are painted a deep crimson red. It is cluttered with typical manly décor such as fur rugs, a leather couch, and animal prints just to describe a few.
The main bed and bath area walls are painted a bright pink, reminiscent of a young girl’s doll house. What is so jarring about that room, though, is the various sex toys, chains, costumes, and other implements used during hardcore sex. The props are so abundant it almost feels like it houses a small sex shop. No matter how long the viewer looks at the rooms, things will be missed. But the longer the viewer searches the décor while the action takes place, the more unsettling the viewer will become.
Sometimes ideas are created that have the potential to work, but when too much is mashed together the idea fails. Motel Mist has two unique stories that on their own would make an interesting film; one a Thriller and the other with a Sci-Fi twist, but together just does not make any sense. A film about dangerous sexual fetishes and aliens could work, but not in this context. It is for this reason that Cryptic Rock gives Motel Mist 2.5 out of 5 stars.