Bad Times at the El Royale

Bad Times at the El Royale ★★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

And spoilers for The Cabin in the Woods, too.

Them: "Tarantino knockoff but hey Chris Hemsworth is hot!"

Me, doomed to love the forgotten characters: "Wow Lewis Pullman's character Miles was so well done in this like how genius was it to make him the staff so that we wouldn't know how important he was? All the rooms got their own chapter, but the maintenance closet? Never saw it coming. I mean every single time he nearly dies I thought he was dead for sure. As soon I as noticed that Emily had shot someone through the mirror I thought oh darn she just killed Miles. And at that point I was still sad that Jon Hamm was dead. But Miles was totally important and who would've ever expected that he'd been at Vietnam? He kept alluding to his past but our imaginations just couldn't go there. He didn't seem the type at all. Until he picked up a gun and started bulls-eyeing everyone of course then it was clear as day. That was so badass it knocked me sideways. Great acting there too you know, he made the switch so convincing. And when he keeps asking Emily not to kill him but then finally adds not until he's talked with the priest. Poor guy just needs a clear conscience. Isn't that the theme of the movie? Cause Billy Lee is talking about the choices, right? Good or bad. But those aren't the only options, and sure Miles felt guilty but he totally saved their lives just then, so he wasn't really a bad guy. And when he finally does die he's lying smack in the center of the room, right on top of the dividing line, and I feel like that's definitely significant. Anyway he was great and oh yeah the whole movie was wonderful I can't wait to see it again."

I just figured out why I love Drew Goddard's work so specially. He loves the forgotten characters too. No one else would've made the kind of bumbling desk clerk the center of a movie's theme like that, and made his arc conclude at the climax of the whole movie. And he did it in The Cabin in the Woods too, with Marty. Stoner = throwaway death. But no, he survives and the whole world gets destroyed as a result. Side characters are special things, and they can accomplish unexpected things in ways leads can't, and Drew Goddard has noticed that. So there's that, and I just LOVE the way he writes.

But yeah, the movie really is wonderful. Dark, stylish, beautiful and brutally bold, and thoroughly intense yet distinctly fun. And it was put together with talent and passion. A favorite of the year for me! You can read my review here if you care to.

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