Bad Times at the El Royale Trailer

Nothing Good Happens in “Bad Times at the El Royale” Trailer

Drew Goddard is responsible for some of my favorite projects of the decade: the meta-horror of The Cabin in the Woods, the humanist sci-fi of The Martian and two of the best episodes of one of the best shows ever (The Good Place).

And since his Oscar nomination for The Martian and his work on Netflix's Daredevil, he's cashing in his chips for another idiosyncratic dark comedy.

Bad Times at the El Royale takes the paranoid, nothing-is-what-it-seems vibe of Cabin in the Woods and moves it to '60s hotel on the California-Nevada border. The guests are all checked in, but there's something sinister going on, and a charming bad guy (Chris Hemsworth) headed into town.

The guests waiting for things to get worse include Jon Hamm, Dakota Johnson and Jeff Bridges as a killer priest. Relative newcomers Lewis Pullman (Lean on Pete) and Cynthia Erivo (the upcoming Widows) co-star as a bellhop and visiting singer, respectively.

Set to the Isley Brothers' soul classic "This Old Heart of Mine," this is one of the best-edited trailers I've seen so far this year, and gives away just enough to keep the mystery intriguing, without spoiling every twist. And I'm reminded of one of my favorite underrated movies: James Mangold's Identity.

Bad Times at the El Royale hits theaters on Friday, October 5. Check out the poster below.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.

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