Strangers cross paths
BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE DIRECTOR: Drew Goddard CAST: Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, Cailee Spaeny, Lewis Pullman, Chris Hemsworth RUNNING TIME: 141 min CLASSIFICATION: 16 D L V RATING: ★★★✩✩
THE set-up of Bad Times at the El Royale sounds familiar, even cliché: seven strangers, each with a skeleton in the cupboard, find themselves thrown together at a hotel that has seen better days, and that itself hides a secret – one that is revealed in the short, wham-bam prologue that sets the stage for this 1969-set film, which is part noirish hybrid of mystery and black comedy.
The name of its writer and director, Drew Goddard, may not mean anything to some.
But anyone who has seen Goddard’s only previous film, the meta-horror movie The Cabin in the Woods or who knows his work as a writer on such projects as Lost, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Oscar-nominated adaptation of The Martian will know to expect the unexpected.
Not all of its surprises are pleasant ones, but there is a certain satisfaction in experiencing a yarn that is so obstinately unanticipatable.
Set in the titular hotel, a Lake Tahoe-area lodge that straddles the Nevada-California line, the action takes place on a night when the front-desk clerk of the godforsaken inn (Lewis Pullman) is overwhelmed by a scramble for rooms.
It’s terribly entertaining. | The
Washington Post African News Agency (ANA)
A scene from the movie Bad Times At The El Royale with its unexpected surprises.