One of the staff in an alien-looking love motel in Bangkok is wearing a 'Mars Attacks' T-shirt. Whether there really are actual aliens hanging around or not, the creepiest character for the time being is the cunning/fatherly smiling Sopol - a sex maniac with a preference for horrible games. He tries these out on teenager Laila in Room 7, who is afraid her brave girlfriend Vicky will come too late. Debut director Prabda Yoon, who wrote the screenplay for the equally imaginative Last Life in the Universe, captures it all in clear, smartly composed images, perhaps betraying his experience as a graphic designer.
The feeling of isolation, heightened by mirrors and walls with peepholes, is even more intense two rooms further along, where a former television celebrity thinks he is in contact with aliens and has prepared for their arrival by painting the room black. Unexpected twists and turns and bizarre events ensue, unanticipated by either Sopol or the audience, bringing the paths of all the main characters together. How strange the way to a comforting gesture can be.
Whether the aliens are real or not is not so important to Yoon. He believes we are all alone in our own universes. The absurdity of existence and the sense that contact and confidence are rare underpin Motel Mist, which also takes a passing swipe at Thailand’s social climate.