Hotel's Reopening Ad Is Scarier Than 'The Shining'
Obviously, some industries were hit harder than others by the COVID-19 pandemic, and while there's been no shortage of creative solutions (lookin' at you, porn industry), you can't really run a hotel over Zoom. The proprietors of such establishments are predictably eager to get back to business; customers presumably less so. To counter this perception, Ireland's Castlecourt Hotel apparently brain-hurricaned a commercial to display their staff's enthusiasm for serving living humans again and overshot that mark by several miles.
They were no doubt going for whimsy, but what they ended up with was a portrayal of the most disturbing abandoned hotel since The Shining. In fact, it doesn't stray far from the structure of The Shining. We start with a scenic drive to the hotel ...
... after which we're led through the reception area ...
... we even end up in a ballroom, albeit one that's less "roaring '20s" and more "your creepy uncle's basement" ...
... but first, a set of elevator doors open to reveal maybe the only thing worse than a bloodquarium.
You might have noticed, at this point, that all the guests in this commercial are terrifying, faceless, um, shiny mannequins. That's the premise: That Castlecourt's staff is so desperate to serve that they've been playing pretend with a bunch of guest dolls all these months.
In the universe of the commercial, their employees aren't just a ragtag group of teenagers half-hearting their way through college -- they're so committed to the joy of inputting your credit card information and handing out towels that they've devoted themselves to a season-long LARPing scenario. They're the best actors improv has to offer, too. Look at their faces -- they're grinning, serving, and even chatting with their entirely imaginary customers. There has to be a guy whose only job is to make the mannequins move, right? What a terrible job must that be, to be necessarily ignored all the time? What do you think the punishment is for acknowledging that guy?
For legal reasons, we can't advise you not to visit this hotel on the certainty that you'll be killed as soon as you behave like a human and fail to stick to the script. But if you're planning a trip to Ireland in the distant future when that sort of thing is allowed again, maybe just double-check to make sure that you're not a Jordan Peele character first.
Images: Warner Bros.