Bad Times at the El Royale

Bad Times at the El Royale (2018), USA
Laufzeit: - FSK: 16 - Genre: Thriller
Kinostart Deutschland: - Verleih: 20th Century Fox

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Sieben Fremde, jeder mit einem dunklen Geheimnis, treffen am Lake Tahoe im El Royale zusammen, einem heruntergekommenen Hotel mit düsterer Vergangenheit. Im Verlauf einer verhängnisvollen Nacht bekommt jeder eine letzte Chance auf Erlösung... bevor alles zum Teufel geht.

Jeff Bridges, Chris Hemsworth und Dakota Johnson | mehr Cast & Crew

Bad Times at the El Royale - Trailer

Filmkritik Bad Times at the El Royale

Filmwertung: | 8/10

Bad Times at the El Royale takes it time. It 's a bizarre and lengthy neo - noir thriller by Drew Godddard. The Hotel El Royale formerly in great demand, today a lost place, gathers seven strangers at the Lake Tahoe on the border of the US federal state California to Nevada in 1969.

Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo
Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo © Twentieth Century Fox
The film starts showing a pastor, Father Daniel Flynn (Jeff Bridges) and a foreign singer (Cytnhia Erivo) humorous discussing the differences between weather conditions in California and Nevada while standing between the red line of California and Nevada. This red line divides the Hotel El Royale into Nevada on the one side and California on the other side. This fact makes the Hotel special, at least in the eyes of receptionist Miles Miller, who is talking this same story every time a guest enters the room. – but at least he does it with so much enthusiasm and sweetness one needs to let him finish.

Right from the beginning the young receptionist and all-rounder Miles Miller (Lewis Pullman) suggests that this is definitely not a place for pastors. He offers Father Flynn – funny alliteration by the way - to take a look at other hotels not far from this place. The pastor remains. After that the receptionist welcomes the vacuum cleaner representative Seymour Laramie Sullivan (Jon Hamm), who pretends not to be married, the singer Darlene Sweet (Cynthia Ervio), who can´t afford to book another hotel for her appearance in Remo the next evening and a young and attractive southern lady Emily Summerspring (Dakota Johnson), who is very rebellious and travels with her little sister Rose Summerspring (Cailee Spaeny). Later the film, a young handsome leader of a strange sect Billy Lee (Chris Hemsworth) enters the Hotel El Royale as well. Watch the movie and you will see why he is entering the hotel, who is calling him and what he wants to reach. It seems more and more as if none of these people came by chance in this lost budget hotel. As a spectator, you do not have to wait long to realize that this hotel and its visitors are full of secrets and on top of that the visitors' stay will definitely not end without blood.

Dakota Johnson (Emily Summerspring)
Dakota Johnson (Emily Summerspring) © Twentieth Century Fox
The "Cabin in the Woods" director Drew Goddard shows a neo - noir movie full of absurdities and succulence. Watching this movie you are in between tension and scurrility. You never know what´s next, will you laugh or be scared. It also criticizes society, especially the woman´s role in society in form of dialogues -most of them in a sarcastic way - and the background scene, like the radio or screening Reagan on TV.

The cast of Lewis Pullman as Miles Miller, a young receptionist who can´t cope with how much cruelty he must see on the one hand and enforce on the other hand, was chosen very aptly. Lewis Pullman provides a young person who can´t forgive himself. He hopelessly tries to keep in faith, so that at least he can pray for forgiveness for what he has done and seen with the help of faith.

Chris Hemsworth (Billy Lee)
Chris Hemsworth (Billy Lee) © Twentieth Century Fox
Jeff Bridges aka Father Daniel Flynn quickly reveals to the viewer that he is not a real priest. But it is puzzling how many other secrets “Father Flynn” has and watching the movie you will definitely question, what he has done to be at this hotel at the moment. Jeff Bridges plays in a well-known, cool, and mysterious way, but at the same time in a kind of sympathetic way, especially in the relationship with singer Darleen Sweet. Her role in the cast of Cytnhia Ervio, who is a singer and songwriter in real life at the same time, was well-chosen, but in my opinion she was still capable of development. Nevertheless, it is the quiet and slow scenes that Cytnhia Ervio skillfully implements. Dakota Johnson surprised with a significantly better performance than in her breakthrough Fifty Shades of Gray. I started to like her as an actress. And last but not least I think one of the best performances were shown by Chris Hemsworth aka Billy Lee. – calmly, crazy, lonely and cool - in my opinion Chris Hemsworth plays his role as leader of a violent hierarchical sect perfectly fitting. And here´s some additional information: the chosen year for the movie 1969 was the year were the Manson murders affair took place. Let´s keep that in mind…

In general, the movie is definitely worth watching. It takes the viewer on a journey into the abysses of man and shows this at the same time with a good dose of sarcasm and irony. If you want to go to the cinema to find out what it means to behave right or wrong or what you should or should not do as a human being, then you are definitely wrong watching Bad Times at the El Royale. Although it becomes clear which moral missteps the individual actors allowed in the course of their lives, the movie is not on a universally popular and all too boring moralizing level. I like that very much about this movie. It forces everyone watching to think and always keep the individual stories in mind. It is always taken care of tension. However, the musical underpinning of the film and the theatrical performances of some of the already mentioned actors are particularly successful.
by Anna W. von Huber

Bilder © 20th Century Fox