Bad times at the El Royale

Having not been to the cinema for a long time (shock horror!) I knew I just had to get back in there and literally just picked on from the Cineworld website. I watched the trailer, which aroused my curiosity, but approached the cinema with no more information than that.

It wasn’t what I thought it would be. At all.

But I wasn’t disappointed.

I would say this film is initially a slow burner as the build-up of a time-lapse of the planting of a hidden item seems to lay the foundations of a film that needed winding up a bit, but as the door is busted in and the fun begins the stage is set as your heart returns to your chest.

El Royale Hotel sits on the border of Nevada and California split with its unique selling point that its split amenities, decorated accordingly, offer state-specific specialities. Now run-down, the hotel boasts its connections to the rich and famous to the few and far between guests.

Until now.

The four guests stories collide and erupt across the screen in a chapter based film noir style with injections of quick-fire gun violence. With less of a nod, more of a bow to the film noir genre, the stereotypes of the diversity of the strangers signals a ride about to begin that almost starts like a bad joke; a negro singer, down on her luck (Cynthia Erivo) a priest with dementia, (Jeff Bridges), a vacuum salesman (John Hamm) and the Femme Fatal (Dakota Johnson). All beautifully conflicting morals and characters it can only mean one thing.

Murder.

With tremendous depth, tension and masses of style, this film needs to be given the time it deserves.

Enter, as I did, with curiosity and exit content and bewildered.

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