Review: Bad Times at the El Royale Surprises

Cailee Spaeny, left, and Chris Hemsworth star in Twentieth Century Fox’s "Bad Times at the El Royale." Photo Credit: John P. Johnson © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Not for sale or duplication.

By Joanna Lopes

The new film, Bad Times at the El Royale, follows seven strangers staying at a hotel that sits on the state line of California and Nevada in 1970. I went into this movie without seeing a single trailer and only seeing some promotional pictures on Instagram, and I have to say that this movie definitely caught me by surprise.

By just seeing promotional pictures by Chris Hemsworth, I thought this movie would revolve around Billy Lee (Hemsworth) as a cowboy. I could not have been more wrong.

Bad Times at the El Royale kept me on my toes the entire time, from Darlene (Cynthia Erivo) suddenly not trusting Father Daniel Flynn (Jeff Bridges) to who the heck is that girl Emily (Dakota Johnson) just tied up?

The range of characters made me think this movie is going to be a confusing mess, but all their stories meld perfectly into a dramatic thrill.

This film goes against the typical story arch, not following the hero’s journey or anything of the sort, and it really had you wondering what was going to happen next the entire time. Bad Times also didn’t seem to have a clear hero or villain, just a bunch of characters going through this experience together who have all done good and bad things throughout their lives.

The cinematography in this film was also extremely impressive, with a few complicated and very long shots being filmed in one take. While it wasn’t the most noticeable thing, if you see it, the cinematography makes you appreciate the film more.

The soundtrack adds to this movie, and occasionally, the lack of music works during specific parts.

Bad Times was definitely a different and interesting movie that I highly recommend if you like a good thrill, or if, like me, and you really like Chris Hemsworth.

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