Q&A with Yeon Je-gwang and Lee Ju-seung

Welcome to the Bates Motel’s seedier cousin. This pay-by-the-hour den of iniquity isn’t just content to rent rooms for quickies; it’s in the business of peddling voyeuristic thrills to the highest bidder, courtesy of a network of hidden cameras. But here’s the kicker: The two poor saps manning the front desk and CCTVs are just cogs in a much more sinister machine, indentured servants to a cadre of Jabba the Hutt–like loan sharks. And just when you think this dark little corner of the world couldn’t sink any lower, in walks a character straight out of a Rob Zombie fever dream, an unconscious woman slung over his shoulder like a macabre fashion accessory. What follows is a white-knuckle descent into the heart of darkness, as the accidental hero grapples with the kind of moral quandaries that would give Dostoevsky night terrors. Director Yeon Je-gwang hits the ground running with this skin-crawling debut, a masterpiece of suspense that’s made from the stuff of sweat-soaked nightmares.