Will Bad Times At The El Royale Low-Key Be The Best Movie Of The Year?

Photo: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox.
For your consideration: Bad Times At El Royale.
Mark my words, this mysterious movie will either be the best movie of the year, or the most disappointing. I've, no joke, watched the original trailer at least 50 times — 48 of them specifically to hear Jon Hamm croon "This place used to be hustlin' and bustlin'" while wearing a sports coat that would make Don Draper proud.
The new trailer, out today, gives us a new look at the film, which feels part spy thriller, part epic 1970s costume drama, and part murder mystery — all aided along by an absolutely killer soundtrack. The cast, which includes Dakota Johnson, Jeff Bridges, Chris Hemsworth, Cynthia Erivo, and Nick Offerman alongside Hamm and his checkered jacket, is all-star. It's Clue, but instead of a stuffy British mansion, its set in a seedy past-its-prime Lake Tahoe hotel that sits astride the border of California and Nevada.
The plot goes as follows: seven strangers congregate at the formerly glorious El Royale, a place that's hiding almost as many dark secrets as they are. On the outside, each individual looks completely benign — it's kind of like the beginning of a bad joke: a priest (Bridges), a singer on her way to Reno (Erivo), a cool hippie girl with great bangs (Johnson) all walk into a lobby. But what starts out as any other night soon devolves into chaos, presumably because a mustachioed and shirtless Hemsworth walks in, completely soaked from the pouring rain, looking for trouble. Is there any better catalyst for drama than a wet Hollywood Chris?
In all seriousness though, the film, written and directed by Drew Goddard, looks like the perfect mix of campy fun and tense action. It's basically American Horror Story: Hotel, minus Lady Gaga and her creepy vampire children, and with more Jon Hamm fully-clothed in a pink hot tub. In other words, it has all the makings of a masterpiece. All I'm saying it, I think this movie could be the reason why that new "Best Popular Movie" Oscars category was made. But I guess we'll have to wait until October 12 to find out for sure.
Watch the full trailer below:

More from Movies

R29 Original Series