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Review: 'Bad Times at the El Royale' - the Spectrum

Review: ‘Bad Times at the El Royale’

Thomas Evanella | The Spectrum
‘Bad Times at the El Royale’ is a must-see.

Drew Goddard’s much anticipated film, “Bad Times at the El Royale,” hit theaters Friday, Oct. 12.

Upon seeing the trailer for “Bad Times at the El Royale,” I was immediately intrigued. It seemed like an action flick with an indie-movie twist with its main character being Jon Hamm.

I was wrong on both of these assumptions.

Sitting in my seat at the theater well equipped with popcorn and candy, I had no idea what I was in for — but it was a wild ride from start to finish.

“Bad Times at the El Royale” brings together seven strangers in the late 1970s to a hotel famous for being split down the middle, with California on one side and Nevada on the other, but it has long since lost its flair. Along with these seven strangers, the hotel has some secrets as well.

Without revealing too much, the hotel has observed the secret lives of its guests without them knowing.

From beginning to end, there is twist after twist in the convoluted plot to this thriller.

Throughout the movie, we get a glimpse into the lives of the seven characters — a priest, a salesman, a singer, two sisters, the hotel clerk and a cult leader. The story all leads to one thing: redemption, though only some can be saved.

Despite the captivating storyline, I was left with questions and wanted to know more about the characters whose stories lacked detail. For example, the trailer made it seem that Hamm, the salesman, would be the main character, but this was not the case.

The most we see of his character is him debugging his honeymoon suite and saying goodnight to his child on the phone. He reports the bugs to whomever he is working undercover for (another stone left unturned). They urge him not to interfere with the goings-on of the mystery of the hotel, but he ignores the warning, which results in the end of his role.

The strangers eventually all come together in a suspenseful ending to this tale, which actually ends on a happy note.

Not really knowing what it was about, I took a chance on this movie, being drawn in by the actors and the cinematography. All around, I have never seen a movie like it before, and I was pleased with how it turned out. Through the many twists and turns, the story came together in the end.

“Bad Times at the El Royale” is a must-see.

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