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What to Watch: Bad Times at the El Royale

Directed by: Drew Goddard
Written by: Drew Goddard
Rated R

Set in 1969, seven strangers, most with a secret to bury, meet by chance at Lake Tahoe's El Royale. A rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of the night, everyone shows their true colours.El Royale

Writer/director Drew Goddard (Cabin in the Woods) delivers another unique film that hasn't received a lot of media attention or buzz from audiences. Bad Times feels a bit like a homage to Tarantino's work and sets up as a "B-movie" with an A-list cast. Fortunately, that is right up my alley.

Bad Times carries a lot of style in this period piece, along with many personas. At times it feels like a creepy thriller. Other times it's a tragic drama about loss. In certain moments it's an action-packed joyride. And even at times, it's a musical. 

This film is loaded with twists and turns, so many that you often keep waiting for the next one to reveal itself. It's best to go in with no expectations on what this film may be, because it won't stay on course.


Bad Times at the El Royale comes in at a running time of 2 hours and 21 minutes - so free up your night. Personally, I didn’t mind the longer running time. This film had me hooked for all 141 minutes.

ProsBad Times

Stylish, cool and unforgiving. This film will keep you hooked and guessing what’s next for all 2 hours and 21 minutes of its run time. Not to mention it comes with an absolutely stacked cast including Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm and Chris Hemsworth (who doesn't know how to wear a shirt).


This film might not be for everyone, but if you like unorthodox story telling (similar to Tarantino's work) and intriguing characters then you'll have a good time watching Bad Times at the El Royale.

Our score 7.5/10 • Rotten Tomatoes 75% • Metacritic 60

Bad Times at the El Royale is available to stream on Crave+Movies+HBO, included with a subscription to the Movies Pack.