Bad Times at the El Royale

Bad Times at the El Royale ★★★

This discount Tarantino knockoff is not even half the film The Cabin in the Woods was. Very few films this year have managed to spin their wheels more than this one does, overstaying its welcome by a good 45 minutes and thus losing any semblance of the necessary propulsive energy. It's not even really that funny or fun. Goddard tries and fails to spin the complicated narrative together through pointless flashbacks (there's an especially cringeworthy one late in the film) and emotional character backstory, stripping the entire thing of the charm behind its "strangers in a room" premise. Ultimately, the underwhelming climax hardly justifies the needless narrative complications that get us there. Performances are good, cinematography is great, and the style is slick, but this just spreads the fun out so thin that it all disappears by the end.


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