Bad Times at the El Royale (2018) Review


In 1969 a group of strangers meet by chance at a hotel named the El Royale, it is very run down and has a dark past. Between two states California and Nevada, the hotel I split across the two and you can chose a room in either of those.


I missed seeing this film on its cinema release and was rather disappointed about that, even though I had heard very mixed things about the film. I actually enjoyed it, some good performance and off the wall moments.

As three guest arrive at pretty much the same time they are waiting a while for Miles to eventually check them into the hotel. It looks like a place that once had plenty of people staying but after the casino had been closed down this did not bode well at all for the hotel. Not having many guests and the service being rather poor. Each guest/character we get have secrets and everything will eventually come out as it becomes a battle to survive some crazy moments.

I liked the way it moved between the rooms which meant the characters and finding out the backstory and then how certain moments overlapped and this allowed the pace to be good for a film with a running time of 2 hours and 24 minutes, I guess that is quite on the long side now. This film certainly will not be for everyone but I am very pleased to say that I enjoyed it from start to finish, it felt like something a little bit different.

Father Daniel Flynn was attempting to find something but his memory is not the best anymore, which I thought was quite an interesting addition to the storyline. I cannot really say too much about each individual characters story as it would spoil the film, but it certainly means don’t always take everything at face value. The hotel plays its part with some moments being a lot creepier than others, I found that to be quite an incredible reveal in all honesty. I wasn’t entirely sure which direction it was going in and then Billy Lee (Hemsworth) shows up and it goes off on a totally unexpected and different tangent.

One of the main points I took from all the different stories which saw why the characters ended up at the El Royale that night make you remember that you should not judge a person by appearances and how they first come across. You might just get a little bit of a shock when everything doesn’t appear so clear cut. That is a very good way to view this film in all honesty and I would totally watch it all over again. It had a unique feeling to it and something that I was very happy about.

Isn’t it a good thing that films dare to be a little bit different and try something quite knew? Well, I certainly think so! If you are open minded then you really should give this a watch, with some very good performances. As always from Jeff Bridges, I was impressed with Cynthia Erivo and the standout performer was certainly Lewis Pullman!                                                                                                                               

3 thoughts on “Bad Times at the El Royale (2018) Review

  1. They sold it as an edgy, “Pulp Fiction” kind of film and it didn’t do well at all…it seems today you need to sell a film much broader, that the market for small and edgy has gone to Netflix in many cases…


  2. Great review! I also enjoyed this movie (I actually loved it), and I was lucky enough to watch it in a cinema!

    I wrote about it in my blog, if you want to pass by… :–)

    Liked by 1 person

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