15 Great Movies Taking Place In A Hotel or Motel

They’re not just for a good night’s sleep while out of town. Hotels and motels have been popular movie settings, providing a temporary home for the characters and serving as a backdrop for the unfolding of their stories.

We’re looking at 15 classic titles that involve a hotel or motel in some form. From suspenseful thrillers to heartwarming comedies, these lodgings have been the stage for some of cinema’s most memorable moments.

1. 1408 (2007)

1408 John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson
Image Credit: Dimension Films.

Based on a Stephen King short story, this horror film follows a skeptical writer who checks into room 1408 at the Dolphin Hotel, which is known for its high suicide rate. As the night progresses, he experiences a series of increasingly terrifying and supernatural events.

2. The Hangover (2009)

The Hangover Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Ent.

In this comedy classic, four friends travel to Las Vegas for a bachelor party and wake up in their hotel room with no memory of the previous night and the groom missing. They must retrace their steps and uncover the events of their wild night to find him before the wedding.

3. The Shining (1980)

The Shining Jack Nicholson, Kate Phelps
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Directed by Stanley Kubrick, this psychological horror masterpiece is set in the isolated Overlook Hotel. The caretaker and his family become increasingly unhinged as they experience supernatural events, and he eventually descends into madness.

4. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

The Grand Budapest Hotel Ralph Fiennes, Edward Norton, Tony Revolori, Golo Euler
Image Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures.

Wes Anderson’s whimsical comedy tells the story of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at the famous Grand Budapest Hotel, and his protégé as they get involved in a heist and a murder mystery.

5. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Based on Hunter S. Thompson’s novel, this dark comedy follows journalist Raoul Duke and his attorney, Dr. Gonzo, as they travel to Las Vegas to cover a motorcycle race and indulge in various drugs and vices.

6. Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

Ocean's Eleven Casey Affleck, Scott Caan
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

In this heist film, Danny Ocean and his team attempt to rob three Las Vegas casinos simultaneously. The planning and execution of the heist take place in various hotels, including the Bellagio, the Mirage, and the MGM Grand.

7. Vacancy (2007)

Vacancy Frank Whaley
Image Credit: Screen Gems, Inc.

When a couple’s car breaks down, they are forced to stay in a run-down motel for the night. However, they soon discover that the motel has hidden cameras in the rooms and is broadcasting their every move to a sinister audience.

8. Pretty Women (1990)

Pretty Woman Richard Gere, Julia Roberts
Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.

This romantic comedy tells the story of a wealthy businessman who hires a prostitute to accompany him to various events. As they spend more time together, they begin to develop feelings for each other.

9. Psycho (1960)

Psycho Anthony Perkins
Image Credits: Shamley Productions.

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, this iconic horror film takes place mostly in the Bates Motel. The story follows Marion Crane, who checks into the motel and encounters the mysterious and disturbed owner, Norman Bates.

10. Lost in Translation (2003)

Lost in Translation Bill Murray
Image Credit: Focus Features.

In this drama, a middle-aged actor and a young woman strike up a friendship while staying at the same Tokyo hotel. They bond over their shared sense of alienation and loneliness, despite the language and cultural barriers between them.

11. In Bruges (2008)

In Bruges
Image Credit: Focus Features.

After a hit job goes wrong, two hitmen are sent to the picturesque Belgian city of Bruges to lay low. As they wait for further instructions, they explore the city and get involved in various misadventures. This Martin McDonagh-directed black comedy is hilarious while touching on some darker subjects.

12. Coherence (2013)

Coherence dinner party scene
Image Credit: Oscilloscope Laboratories.

This mind-bending sci-fi film takes place at a dinner party in a suburban home, but the characters soon discover that their reality is shifting and multiple versions of themselves exist simultaneously in different dimensions. While technically this doesn’t take place in a hotel, almost the entire setting of this thought-provoking film takes place within the confines of a single house.

13. Barbarian (2022)

Barbarian Georgina Campbell
Image Credit: 20th Century Studios.

Barbarian is a horror film that takes place in an Airbnb rental house, where nothing is quite what it seems. This film cleverly subverts expectations, playing on the viewer’s preconceived notions of the setting and characters.

14. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

In this family comedy, Kevin McCallister accidentally boards a flight to New York City while his family goes to Florida for Christmas. He checks into the Plaza Hotel and must fend off two burglars who are trying to steal from him. This is objectively the best and most fun film of the franchise.

15. The Lobster (2015)

The Lobster John C. Reilly, Colin Farrell, Ben Whishaw
Image Credit: A24.

In this dystopian black comedy, single people are sent to a hotel where they must find a romantic partner within 45 days, or they will be transformed into an animal of their choice and released into the woods. The main character, David, chooses to become a lobster if he fails to find a mate. The film explores themes of love, conformity, and the absurdities of societal expectations.

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