Mixed Reviews on “Bad Times at the El Royale”

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Mixed Reviews on “Bad Times at the El Royale”

Sophie Carnoali and James Howell

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“Bad Times at the El Royale” should have been titled “Bad Times at Your Local Movie Theater.”

“Bad Times at the El Royale” is set in a hotel that sits at the border of Nevada and California. The story follows seven strangers; a singer, two sisters, a priest, a hotel clerk, a salesman, and a cult leader. We soon find out that all of these individuals have there own twisted stories and dark pasts that have led them to this hotel. Sounds interesting and a little like the board game Clue right?…Wrong!

When I first saw the trailer I was excited about this seemingly thrilling mystery. I was the one who first suggested it to my friends, which I now feel a sense of guilt for. Not only did this movie make me lose interest within the first 10 minutes but it was also confusing and hard to follow.

The movie began with an exciting entrance of the seven strangers. Then everyone checks into their rooms. We soon find out that the mirrors in the stranger’s bedrooms are not ordinary mirrors, but two way mirrors with something on the other side. Not only did this aspect of the movie make me feel as if I must check all the mirrors the next time I stay in a hotel, but it also didn’t end up being a mysterious aspect of the movie at all; a let down to say the least.

My favorite part of the movie was the story of the hotel clerk. I felt as if he was the most complex character. He had a dark and mysterious sense about him while at the same time had the innocence and a naiveness of a young boy. The story should have looked into his past more and explored what in his life led him to be the only clerk in a shady hotel. However, he was made an insignificant part of the story as a whole.

The most exciting part of the movie was the last 15 minutes. Watching a two-and-a-half hour movie to finally be a little thrilled within the last fifteen minutes was a waste of my time. One of the more bothersome aspects of the movie was the fact that the story would insinuate things about characters and then never truly explain those mysterious aspects of them. I was never provided answers about many of the characters.

Overall, it was not the actor’s performances that disappointed me. It was the fact that the story did not explore the more mysterious aspects, but instead lightly touched on them in a non-mysterious way. I could not leave because that would have required my friends and I to climb over the legs of many people. My only escape was the bathroom. Nancy Drew would not have been mystified and would have rated this movie a one star.

However, Brimstone critic James Howell had a different perception of the film.

Bad Times at the El Royale”: A GREAT time at the cinema!

“Bad Times at the El Royale”, a film directed by Drew Goddard, is one of the recent blockbusters to hit the screen, with an impressive cast, featuring Jon Hamm, Jeff Bridges, Dakota Johnson, and Chris Hemsworth. It follows seven strangers, a salesman, a priest, a singer, two sisters, a hotel manager, and a cult leader, who encounter each other at a rundown motel at the border of Nevada and California. These strangers, however, all have secrets to hide, sins that haunt them, dark pasts. It is their actions and sins that soon lead to gunfights, fire, and of course, death.

I was excited to see this movie with my friends; we all wanted an adventure, a thrill. Boy, did we get one! From the opening scene, this movie is a roller coaster ride, one that you aren’t too sure you should be on. It’s suspenseful, thrilling, and completely wild. Be warned, “El Royale” will have you on edge all the way to the end, with twists and turns and unexpected moments that will totally shock you. My friends and I were left speechless all the way until the end. The cast was great, and the beautifully shot cinematography added to it. The colors were vibrant yet the vibes were strongly shady.

The opening scene left me with questions later answered, as a man breaks the floorboards of his motel room open and hides a mysterious bag. He hears a knock at the door, opens the door, and is shot; a promising lead to a great movie! The movie is packed with suspense, something you won’t expect just lingering around the corner. Every time you think one thing will happen, something else does. The movie also plays with things that happened at the same time. Many things happened, so it was hard to fit it all into a one-time frame. Some scenes would play out and repeat a few times, just to show what every character was doing at that specific time. I found this particularly funny, being able to see what events led to the next.

The end turns into one of the most violent and fun parts of the movie. A cult leader (Billy Lee, played by Chris Hemsworth), who is in love with Emily’s younger sister (Rose Summerspring), is called by Rose and causes more mayhem. He wants to have fun, his definition of fun being death to the visitors. I found Chris’s performance to be great, he was truly maniacal with his character. He was the cherry on top to this delicious bloody sundae.

Bad Times is being called one of the best thrillers in years, and I can be one to agree. My heart was pounding the whole time, just proving the works of this movie.

With both views at hand, we encourage everyone to go see “Bad Times at the El Royale” and decide for themselves; as well as giving your own opinions in the comments!