Cancel any reservations at the El Royale. The place is murder.
Set in the 1960’s, the El Royale was a popular tourist destination which attracted Hollywood stars and celebrities. With the loss of its gambling license, the hotel which straddles Nevada and California has become a ghost town. When four strangers, each with a secret, check into the hotel one rainy night, all hell breaks loose and bodies will fall.
The hotel itself has secrets from hidden microphones to one-way mirrors where unsuspecting guests are filmed. This night, a priest (Jeff Bridges), a black singer (Cynthia Erivo), a vacuum salesman (Jon Hamm), and a hippie woman (Dakota Johnson) walk into the hotel but none are who they seem. Some of the guests are searching for redemption while others are trying to escape their life but on this one night, things will never be the same.
Bad Times at the El Royale is a twisted suspense-filled movie with plenty of twists and turns. Viewers see a variety of perspectives as the movie unfolds, sometimes from two differing points of view. Each of the seven people who arrive at the El Royale are dangerous and aren’t afraid of killing to get what they want.
Jeff Bridges is both devious and sad in the role of Father Daniel Flynn as a former convict who is facing memory loss. Even with his criminal past, he’s a righteous man who is troubled by his choices. Another strong character is Miles Miller, the bellboy/hotel clerk/cleaning staff (Lewis Pullman). His choices aren’t always his own but when push comes to shove, he finds his backbone.
However, the arrival of Billy Lee (Chris Hemsworth) which sets in motion the explosive ending. Chris’s character seems to be a blend of Charles Manson and Jesus—as a cult leader who seeks to teach his followers about life. His ability to be cut and dry about death will leave you shaken and more than a little frightened.
Written and directed by Drew Goddard, who wrote The Cabin in the Woods, which also starred Chris Hemsworth, set out to create a movie in the same vein of Quentin Tarantino with the non-linear storytelling and shocking violence, Bad Times at the El Royale will keep you on the edge of your seat but doesn’t have to be a movie seen on the big screen to grab you. With plenty of surprises and nods to bigger historical events, this is a movie you might need to see a few times to put all the puzzle pieces together.
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