I think my expectations might have been too high for Starfish Hotel, or maybe it was end-of-festival ennui, or maybe it just wasn't that good. I had expected it to be a thriller, vaguely supernatural, and the dream sequences early on kept my hopes up, but then it turned into a basic noir-esque story that tried to be interesting by emphasizing sexual elements. It didn't work.
Familiar tropes and images can add depth to a film, but here they put me in mind of other recent films that had told far more compelling stories (Brick, for doing something new and interesting with noir, and Donnie Darko, for the rabbit and the sort of slipstream effect.) I see that it has a low score on IMDb, so I feel vindicated.