Is it possible that Hollywood has found a new spin on the voyeuristic thriller? The answer is yes in Michael Cristoger’s The Night Clerk. Look, it is a new spin, but hardly a groundbreaking one.
The Night Clerk opens on a hotel night clerk named Bart (Tye Sheridan). Bart has managed to install hidden surveillance cameras in various rooms of what appears to be a three or four-star hotel. Now Bart is transfixed on the multiple images of couples, families, and singles getting ready for whatever they’re getting ready for. He soon starts mimicking the way people talk, and he copies their speech patterns and inflections.
“…Karen is murdered. Bart is smart enough to know that he can get in big trouble if the cameras are found.”
We also discover that Bart appears to have socialization problems, which comes to light when a guest arrives during Bart’s graveyard shift. As the attractive Karen (Jacque Gray) checks in, Bart takes her information in a very short, straight-to-the-point manner. Almost rude and devoid of warmth. When she asks about how nice the room is, Bart recites the room description from the hotel website, including the “read more” button. Karen humors Bart and goes to her room, which happens to be one of Bart’s camera rooms.
When Bart’s replacement arrives early, he is sent home and begins to watch Karen in his basement room. Soon Karen, let’s in a man. An argument ensues, and Karen is murdered. Bart is smart enough to know that he can get in big trouble if the cameras are found. He shows up to remove them and is intercepted by the detective in charge Johnny Espada (John Leguizamo). Our thriller is now well underway.