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Early 1970s. Four strangers check in at the ElRoyale Hotel. The hotel is deserted, staffed by a single desk clerk. Some of the new guests' reasons for being there are less than innocent and some are not who they appear to be.
Six strangers, (Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, Cailee Spaeny and Lewis Pullman) each with their own secrets, meet at the ElRoyale hotel of Lake Tahoe. Taking place over one night, alliances are made and secrets are revealed.
The ElRoyale was built from scratch on a soundstage with much of the furniture and decor being custom made (including branded matchboxes and coasters for the bar). The colour-scheme was meticulously set out so that the California side was mostly yellows and oranges, while the Nevada side was purples and blues. Red was reserved for the borderline, jukebox, and chandelier, while green is almost entirely absent until the end. See more »
During Darlene's recording session the photographer takes a picture of the producer watching through the glass. However, he uses a flash which would have cost of reflection on the glass of the window therefore ruining the shot. See more »
Complete subverts expectations and keeps you at the edge of your seat
BadTimes at the ElRoyale is an incredibly captivating mystery / thriller, and completely subverts expectations within the first 10 minutes. With an all-star cast, the acting is solid from start to finish, and Lewis Pullman (Miles, the hotel manager) steals the spotlight even with Chris Hemsworth in the mix. The structure of the film feels fresh and simulating, with non-linear storytelling and scenes from multiple perspectives, though at times, the pacing does tend to drag at certain parts. The more energetic scenes are accompanied by an incredible soundtrack, with classics from the 60's; that create a warm and versed vibe. The topics of ultimatums and self reflection are presented, and exceptionally highlight by the cinematography. Several scenes have the character looking through a one-way mirror, presenting a shot with what the character sees and, in the reflection, his/her reaction. There are also parts with vivid color and or contrast paired with beautiful composition that forms a stylistic vintage look. One of the film's problems is leaving open plot threads to hang, one character is believed to be promising and crucial in the beginning of the film but slowly dwindles away all, and connection and potential is lost. Overall BadTimes at the ElRoyale does a phenomenal job at luring the audience into a story that is at points unpredictable.
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