It’s Truly Bad times at the El Royale: When They All Accidentally Meet

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 image credits: Docxdrl via Bitlanders

It’s Truly Bad times at the El Royale: When They All Accidentally Meet

I have to confess spending an hour plus watching BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE really pays off. When a good script meets a good director Drew Goddard, the outcome of this meet is nothing but a good movie that deserves an award.

video credits: 20th Century Fox  via Youtube 

A Movie like this may not fully engage a yet to be mature mind in understanding the quality of twist, turn, and perfect directing by Drew Goddard as he divides the script into different sections. These sections however intertwined concurrently with each other to bring the timing of the story in a classic way.

It is no disservice when I say that  Bad Times at the El Royale joins the ranks of the finest of Tarantino imitators. It’s packed with twists and turns that keep an audience glued to the screen and continually re-evaluating the characters that we thought we knew 

Nate Zoebl

A director like Drew Goddard does not waste time on redundancy, as the script is wonderfully and cleverly written to meet the underlying desires of the audience to have a pleasurable experience at the cinema. The movie is an intense script with the sole purpose of engineering the classics with bloodshed idea of good movies in a grand style to the semblance of Quentin Jerome Tarantino.

Bad Times at El Royale is a movie that encompasses shooting, spying, scandals, banks robbers, cult, morality between right and wrong, redemption and retribution. All these parts mix together to give El Royale the idea movie with the best twists and turns that engulf my curiosity.

The Movie Short Story

Flex unrolls the carpet in a hotel room and stashed a bag full of cash on the floor. Ten years later, several individuals all arrive at the El Royale hotel. The hotel is located in the boundaries of two states, California and Nevada. These mysterious guests came to the hotel one after another, with each harbouring a dark secret to kill for. 

In time past El Royale was enjoyed by the wealthy, and now under its roof, in a single night, came the worst of the worst. This group of individuals unknowingly to them, it is going to be a night full of wonder that would change their lives for the better, to some, a night of demise, other a night of redemption and salvation. This is the night of the unexpected and unintended.


image credits: IMDB

Like in the folklore, a group of strangers falls into the right hotel, at the appointed time, with each destined for a defined role within the giving night of terror. Like every day in their lives, they walked into Hotel El Royale without realizing the fate that awaits them. On this fateful night, hotel Royale was visited by a priest, a singer, a vacuum cleaner dealer, a girl without a name and retired junky as hotel receptionist.

Not long when each of them is giving a key to their respective rooms, events start to unfold when the vacuum cleaner found several listening devices and a two-way mirror in his room.

The situation improved for the worst during the night as El Royale had a perilous visitor who came in the rain with machine guns to unearth the secrets of the hotel and its occupants.  One after another, the hotel occupants fell for the menace of the visitor before the dawn of a new day.

The Content of the Movie

It’s no news in most Hollywood movies, the trailers tell the story of the movie in bait for recognition, to geared the public to the cinema, or even consider for an award but with Drew Goddard, I think El Royale is

A playful, skillfully conceived mind-binder that grabs hold of you early and doesn’t let up

Jim Schembri 

Slowly at first, the events of the movie starts unfolding. Then with speed the singularity that unveils the underlying sets of individuals that made the mysterious hotel El Royale feels like

If imitation is a compliment, this is the greatest compliment that Tarantino has received in his life

Yago Garcia

But unfortunately, this is not an imitation. It is a great work that deserves an award and gratitude from the mainstream 21st-century movies in Hollywood.  The movie does keep the audience engaged (Except if you are only familiar with mainstream uncooked movie plots that have flooded the movie industry in the last decade); it sure has mystery, action and thriller packed in one.


image credits: IMDB

El Royale may try your patience because the script is awesomely writing. Everything brings back memories of time past when I always engaged myself in reading James hardy chase novels. A novel with great storytelling and shouldn’t be judged by its title.  This also seems the case with El Royale.

The movie encompasses the general idea of not knowing who the main character is, the plot of the story and the end game. But all the mini-story of this movie work towards hiding the obscure nature and intention of Drew Goddard like directing a single movie: The cabin in the woods before making this masterpiece like El Royale.

I wouldn’t want to compare Drew Goddard, Quentin Tarantino and novelist Rene Lodge Brabazon Raymond because, even though they have similar ideas. It would be like comparing myself and most bloggers in Bitlanders that have always been awarded four stars and more whenever they post a blog review.

It is the fusion of the story parts: thriller, action, mystery and salvation with good iconic actors in the movie industry that characterized the movie classiness and to be contemporary.


image credits: IMDB

With a lot of award-winning actors in the movie industry, the director’s oversight in selecting actors that can fit into each character, embodying the role of either a protagonist or an antagonist. This must be an act of prudence to have resulted in the quality of the movie.

It then now begs the question, uniting the various aspect of this movie, from selecting the perfect place, the roles to be played and how to get the synergy in all these, how did Drew Goddard managed to accomplish all these?


image credits: IMDB

Unlike mainstream movies of this nature, the role of each actor keeps changing until the end of the movie. Starting with the vacuum cleaner who at first may seem the protagonist, but fell under the gun of the woman without a name who seemed a kidnapped, but it turns out she is running away from a derange cultic sociopath.  A young hotel receptionist who seemed like a junky but turns out he is dosing himself because of the guilt he carries of killing more people than anyone he knows about.

To each character, they seemed not their personality because of the secret they carry. Combining these unrelated character roles together to bring out the beauty this movie carries left me rewatching the movie soon after the movie finished.

However, when it comes to the last scenes were the past and the present meets, it like a dream come through to see what makes each character behaves, acts and interprets reality. Either it is for unquestionable passage (Priest ), running away from deranging person with a child (woman with no name), running away from a wicked employer (singer), pretending to be a salesman (vacuum cleaner) or just hiding away in a hotel (receptionist).

To them all, it so happens that they never knew fate will catch up with them in their respective disguise at the El Royale.


image credits: IMDB

Although for the sake of people in dire to make their ways right, this is a movie with an embedded lesson not for the thin heart, but for a repented heart that seeks salvation.

 The Technical Side of the Movie

El Royale is an exquisite shot packed with a slice of mouth watery suspense together with an unexpected twist of events. It has nothing to do with their previous awards, but it had everything to do with their acting in this movie and the person on the directors sits, and the cameraman to give a feeling of satisfaction to this sublime work of theatricals.

EL ROYALE is a twisty, twisted delight. Smart script, excellent actors, really great camerawork. What else do you need?

  Tim Stevens 

The movie has excellent music that was selected by Republic Records to reflecting the soundtracks that added more beauty to the storytelling of the movie.

 The Collective Works of the Actors

 I’m sure if you have seen the movie trailer. You will know  Hollywood famous faces and awards winners made up the actors that embodied the characters in Bad Times at the El Royale. These are Jeff BridgesChris Hemsworth, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, Cynthia  Erivo, Cailee Spaeny, Lewis Pullman and a bunch of others.


image credits: IMDB

It was the unexpected roles played by these characters that bring out the joy in me. From Marvels’ Thor God of Thunder (Chris Hemsworth) to an eccentric sociopath called Billy Lee.  He succeeded in embodying the character to a fault, this shows how versatile Chris Hemsworth is his acting career.

 The Hero of the Movie

It is often considered that the main protagonist is the hero of a movie. I think this way of thinking is stereotype, sometimes the antagonist maybe the hero. El Royale is a movie with several heroes, not because they have ever received Oscar awards, but because of the roles, they played in the movie.

Darlene Sweet is not a common face to me in the movie industry, but this does not alter my perception of the perfect role she played as a single in the movie Bad Time at the El Royale. It is her charisma as she sings calmly while Jeff Bridges unearths the money stashed on the floor of her room.


image credits: IMDB

Chris Hemsworth, with his famous acting skills in MCU, I was surprised to see him take a villainy role in the movie El Royale. At first, I wished he could flip the roles and turns out a good guy.  But then, I soon realize that he has embodied the antagonist character smoothly that keep me wondering why didn’t take the role of Loki in Avenger.

Saving the best for last, when all hope seemed gone for good, Bill Pullman pulled the million dollars puzzled performance when he handles a gun. His emotional frenzies stop, his charisma dramatically changed to a complete stranger unlike the hotel receptionist and junky of before. The role he played was like he had a split personality. That was totally WICKED!


image credits: IMDB

The Performances are all top-notch, especially from Erivo and Bridges. And Pullman’s gradual emergence as someone who is more than a motel clerk is an eye-opener

Stephen Romei 

If you have not yet watched the movie, you will not know a little about what I speak. But I’m sure you’d understand what I mean if you have watched the movie and pay close attention to the perfect presentation and synergy between the roles the actors in general play.

Is the movie any good?

Bad Times at the El Royale is a creepy and mysterious in general, the tension built in the movie makes the movie, a movie not to be enjoyed with the family. It begs the questions of morality of who is good, who’s bad and who is going to live the night and tell a story. But we already know that

Dead men tell no tales


It is a movie that can relate to people on a cellular level, in a way that encourages us to look past our craving desire to impose our will on people.  And to look towards been accepted by ourselves first. We should focus on pressing unto higher grounds, than desiring for the world to accept us. Therefore, El Royale is everything a good movie with the intent of learning a lesson, coping with unexpected events in our lives and trying to live through our predicaments.

video credits: Jeremy Jahns via Youtube

We can live through all our predicaments, not to become victorious but to live blamelessly is what Bad Time at the El Royale stands for. Though I will not encourage watching this movie with the young minds, it’s a movie you will enjoy with matured minds that appreciate the good storyline.

On a final note

Once in a while, it is better we appreciate flawless work when we see one. Bad Times at the El Royale is a movie of six strangers that meet in the Hotel El Royale of Lake Tahoe. During the night an unexpected turn of events left the hotel and its occupants with memories that will-ever-remain young in their minds as each secret comes to lame light.







About the author


Simple, Kind and always keeping it real

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