Hospitality (2005)

Hospitality is an unusually literate, restrained horror movie that, although written and directed by a black man (Tony Ducret), doesn’t fall into any easy stereotypes — unless you think that black guys are articulate, marginally prissy and like to make snuff films.

The movie has a great set-up: a spoiled, 20-something ladies’ man named Teddy (Gian-Murray Gianino) wakes up late one morning (or afternoon) after a night of partying at his parents’ ski cabin. He thinks he’s alone, but he finds two sleeping stragglers who apparently never left from the previous night’s festivities. He wakes up preppy black man Paul (Airrion Doss) and Lebowski-like slob Craig (Alex Finch), although he doesn’t even recall them being at his birthday party.

Craig apparently works at the ski lodge, and the Paul, who claims to be a friend of a friend, says that his buddies left him without a way back home. Teddy is pleasant enough to the interlopers and offers to arrange for their ride home, but while Paul is exceedingly polite, the tone of the conversation gets darker, with the strangers taking jabs at Teddy for being a spoiled brat. They don’t care for Teddy’s hobby of posting online videos of women he has sex with, and in fact they turn out to be amateur filmmakers themselves. They plan to turn the tables on Teddy and film him — not having sex, but rather dying.

For a micro-budget horror flick, Hospitality is smartly written with sharp, witty dialogue and kinetic direction. It actually feels more like a conversation-driven indie (Did I mention that it’s in black-and-white?) than a low-budget horror movie — so much so that gore hounds may find themselves suffering from a case of red balls.

“If only this weren’t my hand…”
“I can hear you fapping.”
“I once killed a man for breathin’ at me funny.”
“Me talkin’ to YOU?”
The Econo Lodge wake-up service had a high mortality rate.
Never buy condoms on Craigslist.
“I know what you’re thinking: did I leave the iron on? Well, did you, punk?”
It’s easy to tell when a porn shoot goes well.


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