Bad Times at the El Royale

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Bad Times at the El Royale is an interesting, beautiful, and twisted movie following the intertwined stay of guests at the El Royale motel. The cinematography and overall layout of the film is done well and in the style of Quentin Tarentino films. If you are a fan of ‘Pulp Fiction’ or ‘Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood’ then this is a film for you. The film has a strong sense for the use of colour, lighting, and mix of shot types. The film does a good job going between past and present or locations, making it easy to comprehend the timeline. The only big issue for this film is its pacing. It is very slow at first and loses the attention of viewers, then quickly picks up.

The film takes place at a unique motel unlike any other. The building itself is situated between two states allowing guests to stay in California (yellow) or Nevada (purple). This is a unique idea that allowed to create beautiful scenes because of the contrast. The use of colour is a prominent aspect throughout the movie and in somber moments all the colour is lost or changes to darker tones. The set design as a whole was well done for this film and definitely what makes this film stand out the most. The use of title screens to break up the story helps create a layout for the film. It provides good transition between characters and their lives as well as past and present.

In terms of acting I really liked the actors they chose and they looked the part for their roles. The dynamic between characters was really interesting and how the people they interact with revealed something about their character. Every character is hiding something or has another side to them that we do not see. One by one this is slowly revealed, which is where the transitions come in handy when they are flipping in and out of the present day. In this film, Chris Hemsworth portrays a cult leader from the south. The Australian actor does his best southern accent however you can sometimes hear the Australian accent come out. The story takes on drastic changes throughout the film filled with twists and turns. The viewer never truly knows the full story because it is constantly building on with new perspectives. The story becomes more and more intense as more detail about the characters is revealed. The hotel represents this separation from the outside world and the secret hidden hallway provides a look into what people do when they think no one is watching. It is a horrific idea that makes you not want to stay at a hotel for a while but at the same time a clever writing and story tool. This film resembles many qualities of the classic style of Tarentino’s work. The colours, soundtrack, unique story with intertwining stories, and extreme violence all played out similarly to his work. The whole movie acts as a tribute to his work or a homage.


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