MOTEL ACACIA (2019) Reviews and overview

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‘Stay forever’

Acacia Motel aka Motel Acacia is a 2019 horror film about a young man being groomed to take over the family business – a motel for voyeurs deep in the wilderness that seemingly provides shelter to illegal immigrants on behalf of the government.

However, it is really a place for exterminating immigrants via a bed which is haunted by the spirit of Kapre, a Filipino tree demon that eats men and impregnates women…

Directed by Bradley Liew (Singing in Graveyards) from a screenplay co-written with producer Bianca Balbuena

The Filipino-Malaysian-Singaporean-Indonesian-Croatian co-production stars JC Santos, Jan Bijvoet (In Darkness), Nicholas Saputra and Agot Isidro.


Gravitas Ventures will release Motel Acacia on Digital HD and VOD platforms on May 22nd 2020.


Motel Acacia is an overambitious if underwhelming and utterly bizarre blend of politics and horror with an abstract approach that’s neither ghastly and scary, nor thought-provoking, as it is let down by a confusing, bland, and tedious story which aims to say quite a lot, but speaks rather softly.” CineMarvellous!

“I can appreciate the basic idea of this movie, but I don’t think it worked very well as a whole. The production quality and (most of) the acting definitely did work, so there is good to say about this movie as well.” Heaven of Horror

“The film is ambitious enough on paper as it tackles colonialism, racism, climate change and much more. It still can’t help succumbing to very familiar genre conventions, though, as characters run for their lives along gloomy corridors and do battle with rubbery looking beasties clinging to their limbs.” Screen Daily

“Though it delivers on the suspense level, Motel Acacia really ought to have spent a bit more time figuring out what it was trying to say about America — that dimension remains a bit too abstract, ultimately failing to explain why a Filipino demon is doing the country’s dirty work. Still, the execution is slick enough…” Variety

Director and co-writer Bradley Liew said: “This film is a projection of monsters – monsters from the Southeast Asian folklore and the monsters within us – humans. This is a story of a young man’s emancipation both sexually and spiritually. The film also speaks about the power of the female form and how it leads men to their demise. How men seek to dominate women but always end up worst for it.”

Cast and characters:
JC Santos … JC
Jan Bijvoet … Father
Nicholas Saputra … Don
Agot Isidro … Angeli
Vithaya Pansringarm … Sami
Bront Palarae … Bront
Talia Zucker … Cathy
Will Jaymes … James
Perry Dizon … Dee Hernandez
Brian Sy … Foreman

Filming locations:
Manila, Philippines

Technical details:
92 minutes | 88 minutes
Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1


MOVIES and MANIA rating:

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