I think I saw a slightly different movie here. The movie took me to an adventure to a different world that I found enchanting – a bit like playing some point and click adventure on a computer. The plot is also pretty unique, and for the most parts I did not know where it was going to take me, but I did not really care as the journey was worth it, and for me the story of the protagonist being drawn to the depths of madness by the mysterious character more than warranted the 90 minutes I spent with Hotel Colonial.
But I do agree that character writing and directing is where the movie suffers the most. Savage is a bit lost throughout the movie (although it suits the mental state of the his character) and Duvall’s performance is just plain painful to watch, knowing the level of performer he usually is.