Leah Myette’s Anthology Series”Hotel Barclay”, An In Depth Look

Leah Myette’s “Hotel Barclay” Introduction

Hotel Barclay, is an indie produced horror anthology series currently streaming on YouTube. The series parallels anthology formats of yesteryear. “The Hotel Barclay” encapsulates themes of supernatural and/or psychological horror. According to the story line, “The Hotel Barclay” is an archaic edifice, a timepiece from a bygone era. The cursed structure is a host to dark and disturbing scenarios.

An underlying focus resides on society’s discards, unsavory individuals living tumultuous lives. Yet, the central concept are the spectral tenants that dwell within the establishment. Paths cross between the living and the departed. Therein lies the intricate foundation for “The Hotel Barclay”. The presentation will cater to the palette of most Horror connoisseurs. Season one to “The Hotel Barclay” features thirteen episodes and is available YouTube. “The Hotel Barclay” is currently in its second season, its debut episode aired on 19th of January 2016.

The following is a two part article on the horror anthology series; “The Hotel Barclay”. Discussed will be a review on the debut season of the series. The first episode launched on the 1st of October 2015 via YouTube. Concluding the interview with “The Hotel Barclay” writer/director Leah Myette will be a review of season one.

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Leah Myette Interview

DecayMag.com Exclusive Interview Hotel Barclay writer Director Leah MyetteDecayMag.com contributor, Enid Autumn interviewed writer/director Leah Myette. The interview was held on Wednesday the 20th of January 2016. Some of the topics discussed were;”The Hotel Barclay”, Horror and women’s contribution to the genre.

It was a pleasure to speak with Leah Myette, one of many women currently redefining the horror genre. Below are questions Leah Myette had graciously replied as a follow up to our interview.

Enid Autumn, DecayMag: According to your IMDB page you started your career as an actress, is that correct? Was the course of your career that lead you here in creating The Hotel Barclay?

Leah Myette: Yes, I did indeed start my career as an actress. The parts I went out for as an actress were always very specific– they were troubled, edgy characters often on the fringes of society– junkies, prostitutes, runaways. In fact, years ago, I became eligible for the SAG by booking a PSA where I played a meth addict at the end of a 3-day binge. I loved playing those parts because I found them more interesting than many of the more common roles for women who are forging careers in acting (love interest, mother, victim). The mathematics of the situation eventually hit me– there weren’t a lot of edgy roles to go around, period. From a place of what felt like failure, I decided that it would be interesting to create this really shelter-skelter universe that was controlled by a very predatory hotel, and that I could populate it with as many edgy, fascinating characters as I wanted.

Enid Autumn, DecayMag.com: From the drug use in episode 2 to the desperate model in episode 1, Special attention went into details and circumstances. What was the creative process in achieving this true to life feel?

Leah Myette: Thanks, creating a really authentic, true-to-life feel was very important to me. The bulk of that was achieved through research. I either read extensively about these subjects (blogs, forums postings, articles, anonymous articles) and talked to people I knew or that I was introduced to who had such specific experiences. I didn’t want the work to look pat and derivative of crimes shows or detective films or other pieces which sort of dabble or vaguely address these elements.  I really wanted to show the humanity of the characters, so I had to ask as many questions as possible when I found people who had experience in these situations— and if I couldn’t—read as much as I possibly could.

Enid Autumn, DecayMag.com: In recent years we’ve seen a rise in female horror filmmakers on what was once a male dominated genre. Can you share insight on your passion for the genre?

Leah Myette: I think that it’s only natural that more women make films in this genre. Women aren’t socialized with the uber-masculine-pressure that young men face growing up in America (be tough, be a man, show no fear, show no weakness). One could argue that it’s more socially acceptable for a woman to admit fear, feeling spooked, or needing to sleep with the light on, etc. Thus, you could argue that women in certain respects, have a more intimate relationship with fear because we haven’t been socialized to deny it. There’s more of a familiarity there and that’s a great foundation upon which to build a structure of terror.

Listen to the rest of our Exclusive Interview with Leah Myette below:

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“The Hotel Barclay” Season One Review

Overview:

“The Hotel Barclay” season one comprises of thirteen episodes. Each segment runs under ten minutes in duration. Absent from this indie developed medium are gory practical effects and intricacies of CGI. The execution is simplistic in its approach. Yet, within this simplicity Horror enthusiasts are presented with original story-driven content. For genre specific productions this is a creative process lacking with Hollywood. A gradual rise in viewership steers “The Hotel Barclay”  on a course for success.

“The Hotel Barclay” is the brainchild of Leah Myette. Myette is part of a group of women establishing themselves as the new visionaries in Horror. A recent shift in this ever-evolving genre find concepts and films produced by women.

“The Hotel Barclay” Season One Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3uC1rn7_mg

“The Hotel Barclay” season one Episodes:

  • Episode 1: The Love Story
  • Episode 2: The Flophouse Stiff
  • Episode 3: The Duo
  • Episode 4: The Magician
  • Episode 5: The Boys
  • Episode 6: The Pure Blood

Pros

Special attention went towards the realism in tonality. A balance of believable portrayals and strong character backstory strengthened the production core. The underlying commentary is a different approach from traditional visual rich Horror mediums.

Cons

The use of proper lighting techniques was a huge negative in series one to “The Barclay Hotel”. The scene felt generic and void of tension and mood. Perhaps filming in confined quarters hinders the creative use of lighting.

Lacking is an in depth look on the assortment of phantasms. The who, what, where, when and why’s should be fleshed out for viewer consumption. The permanent residents of “The Barclay Hotel” are key to the story. Favor should also fall on these ghostly individuals and their relation to the hotel.

The above noted cons is small in comparison to the overall production value presented in “The Hotel Barclay” as a whole.

Overall: 

“The Barclay Hotel” production is in its infancy. Upcoming seasons will explore more stories and expand on “The Barclay Hotel” universe. Production elements will refine over the course of seasons. Season one offers examples of true Horror and Suspense story telling. The execution committed, all without the need of post editing magic tricks. The series is short of scares and may fall flat with a generation accustomed to cheap care tactics. “The Barclay Hotel” instead offers a philosophical and creative  approach to Horror content and film-making.

Rating Score:

  • 0-10 Avoid
  • 11-20- Mediocre
  • 21-30 -Good
  • 31-40 – Average
  • 41-50- Great
  • 51-60 – Stunning
  • 71-80 – Must See
  • 81-90 – Amazing
  • 91-100 – Impressive

“The Hotel Barclay” Season Two Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgjQgWBG6mQ

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4 COMMENTS

  1. You don’t have a rating for “Getting Under Your Skin”: a sub category of Scare Factor.
    I still think about some of those images, which boost the Scare Factor to a 70-80%.

    • You have a point. Yet, we here at DecayMag.com don’t scare as easily. Thank you for your input Nancy, greatly appreciate it!

      • Hi Kage,
        Yet those of us who DO scare easily, and are only occasional consumers of horror could be seen as connoisseurs too. Our thin skins allow us to receive and register a range of nuances that the film maker has taken pains to create. Those with thicker skins may be losing out on a sub strata of the experience.

        • You offer a good perspective. Thank you. Horror connoisseurs with “thicker skins” do enjoy the genre on multiple levels. Personally, (and many Horror aficionados would agree) we’re less receptive to regurgitated technical aspects used by filmmakers. It’s an enjoyable consumption nonetheless. Thank you for your comment.

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