Horror Movie Review: Return to Horror Hotel (2019)

“Nobody messes with Stumpy Nixon!”

Return to Horror Hotel is a 2019 horror anthology movie. Directed by Ricky Hess and Brandon Thaxton and written by Al Hess.

Return to Horror Hotel is an anthology feature with 4 segments:

Sleep Tight – A bodybuilder checks into the hotel to train for a big competition. He is gobbling up steroids when he is bit by bedbugs. The bedbugs in turn, grow exponentially larger and began to attack other guests staying at the hotel.


Guillotine – A vain beauty pageant contestant, Doreen Grey, is trading her luxury auto to a slimy fence, Al Sharko, to get an edge to winning the next big pageant. She and her best friend, Collette, both get to test drive the charm, which works a little too well, causing friction between the two girls on who will get to use it.

No Time For Love – Davie Jones, a WWII navy submariner, has locked himself away in his hotel room after his boat sank in the 60’s with most of his friends. He hasn’t been seen in years and has also not aged a day. A pretty bookstore clerk tricks her way into his room on a dare and kick starts Davie’s biological clock.

Houdini’s Hand – Rufus and Tyrone have stolen a magical hand of Harry Houdini from a notorious one armed burglar. The hand wants to be returned to it’s rightful owner and proceeds to terrorize the two petty thieves who are locked in their room with no escape.

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I’m always up for watching an anthology movie, although they’re usually hit and miss, there’s always at least one that makes it worthwhile. Return of Horror Hotel… well, let’s see.

Firstly, I have to get this off my chest because it pissed me off straight away. This place isn’t even a hotel, it’s a motel. It says it clearly on the sign! It also isn’t even that bad looking for $12. But, I digress.

So we start off with Sleep Tight. This segment had a solid concept for horror and could have just been the entire movie. The characters are all properly introduced and developed and I was enjoying the story. It had some unique ideas such as bedbugs ground up and sold as drugs – certainly something I’ve never seen done before. But then it had the weakest ending. Norman as the evil Aunt was actually pretty good and I wanted to see her get some kind of comeuppance but instead she just passes out and turns into a cheap looking skeleton. Very disappointing.

Next up is No Time For Love. This one was obviously supposed to be taken more seriously but it was misplaced amongst the others. I also found it to be goofy as hell. Why did they kiss out of nowhere? Additionally, the makeup was fine, it served its purpose but they could have just hired someone old instead.

Moving on to, Guillotine. This was definitely the worst of the bunch. It was not well acted and didn’t make a lot of sense, similar to the bodybuilder, Al Sharko leaves very suddenly. Return to Horror Hotel has some pretty cheap effects but not having any lenses in a pair of glasses has to take the cake.

Finally it’s, Houdini’s Hand. I found this segment to be the funniest although the audio seemed a little messed up. But, at least we learned a lesson: don’t mess with Stumpy Nixon or his hand.

Overall, I was pretty disappointed with Return to Horror Hotel. It had some unique concepts and was ripe for further things to happen but the stories end when they’re half cooked. I found the whole movie to be lazy and not well thought out. There was so much comedy gold and body horror to be had with the bodybuilder but he literally just walked out the door. For a comedy horror (I’m assuming it was supposed to be funny) I barely laughed and wasn’t all that entertained which is truly the biggest crime. I’ve watched some real budget horror movies that were still hilarious and entertaining as hell so I know it’s possible.


  • Sally Powell

    Editor/Writer - Stay at home mum educating the horror minds of tomorrow. If it's got vampires or Nicolas Cage in it, I'm sold. Found cleaning bums or kicking ass in an RPG. (And occasionally here reviewing all things horror and gaming related!)

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