When a young woman wakes up covered in blood in the Hotel Beau Sejour, she is forced to face the fact that she has been killed. But instead of wallowing in despair, she discovers that she can communicate with the living through her sense of touch and other supernatural powers. She must solve her own murder, connect it to a series of similar cases and figure out why five people in her immediate vicinity can see her.
The Belgian television drama screened in Europe last year before Netflix acquired the international rights. It is a supernatural crime drama that demands an extraordinary amount of suspension of disbelief. But it is also an absorbing mystery, with good performances and interesting visuals.
It would be easier to overlook the many flaws in this premise if it didn’t feel so incredibly preposterous. Kato’s ability to talk with her family and friends makes it seem like she is on a different plane of existence than the rest of the world. But if she called the police and revealed her killer’s name, bystanders would be unable to hear it. Law enforcement would hear static.
It’s a little depressing to realize that, as Decider’s Joe Reid recently pointed out, teenagers die a lot on TV, particularly on international crime dramas. But it’s worth sticking around for Hotel Beau Sejour because of Lynn Van Royen’s performance as the limbo-stuck Kato. She walks the line between reckless and well-reasoned, terrified and strong, and brings a vulnerability to her numb character that’s both charming and tragic.