Drew Goddard's Bad Times at the El Royale is unlike any movie playing in theaters. It is, at times, familiar in its seedy intent. And yet, in the hands of this wickedly creative filmmaker, the twisty and deceitful neo-noir crime thriller comes up with something fresh and new for modern audiences.
Dakota Johnson plays one of the strangers who arrives at the El Royale hotel with suspicious motives, and when we asked her what movies she watched to prepare to play this femme fatale, she surprised us with her answers, stating:
What interesting answers, though they make sense once you feast your eyes on Drew Goddard's spectacular film. Dakota Johnson makes references to movies that are very much of a specific time frame. Steve McQueen's biggest films, from The Thomas Crowne Affair to Bullitt, came in the 1960s and 70s. Same goes for Klute, a 1971 mystery thriller starring Jane Fonda (a great reference point for Dakota Johnson's character) and Donald Sutherland.
The Gimme Shelter reference might see like it doesn't belong. Dakota Johnson is referring to the 1970 documentary centered around a Rolling Stones tour. The emphasis, though, lands on the tragic concert at Altamont, where the Hell's Angels posed as "security" for the Stones, and an audience member was stabbed to death.
The chaos and uncomfortable vibe of Gimme Shelter actually applies to the back half of Bad Times at the El Royale, but not in any ways that I can explain to you until you see the film. So, let's just let Dakota Johnson tells us about it.
Truthfully, though, the less that you know about Drew Goddard's Bad Times at the El Royale, the better the experience. Set in the fictional hotel of the title, it is a twisty and mysterious crime thriller that finds four strangers trying to unearth a buried treasure at the locale. Only, they all have unpredictable motives, and success at the El Royale means totally different things for each person. Also, the mirrors in the hotel rooms are two-way. What could that mean?
Jeff Bridges, Jon Hamm, Cynthia Erivo and Dakota Johnson are the main players in Bad Times at the El Royale, with Chris Hemsworth joining the party later as a wild card. This one is a must see, and it's in theaters starting Thursday evening, October 11.
Managing Director at CinemaBlend. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Thank you for signing up to CinemaBlend. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.