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Bad Times at the El Royale (2018)

by EHL Movie Reviews

Run Time: 2 hours 21 min
Release Date: October 12, 2018
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Director: Drew Goddard
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson

Plot Summary

The early 1970s. Four strangers check-in at the El Royale Hotel. The hotel is deserted, staffed by a single desk clerk. Some of the new guests’ reasons for being there are less than innocent and some and are not who they appear to be.

Who doesn’t love a mystery crime thriller right, this is exactly what you are getting with Bad Times at the El Royale. Set into a sequence of chapters, each one regarding each different character, until the last act, gives us a chance to get to know these character one by one. They’ve been thrown into this situation together and with the use of a series of flashbacks and altercations, we get to know each one individually.

Due to this structure, it feels like it takes a while to get into this one, and the first couple of acts are quite drawn out. But at the same time, they are surrounded in mystery, in which you are always guessing what each character’s intentions are.

Once we get to the third act, it truly goes Tarantino style, like most of the movie in-fact. This act is very entertaining and brings up a few little surprises (FYI don’t watch the trailer), but it does run its course towards the end.

A bunch of strangers, deserted hotel, plenty of mystery. Bad Times at the El Royale has the hints of a Tarantino film but doesn’t quite meet those heights. Entertaining nonetheless, this film is full of intrigue but at times lacked the right pace to engage throughout.