*Relatively spoiler free until after the ads.*
5-7 strangers end up at a run down hotel along the border of California and Nevada. Over the course of the movie, you get to know them better, but their given profession is probably how you’ll get to know them. There’s the vacuum cleaner sales man, the singer, the other girl with an attitude, the hotel staff kid, and the priest. That’s who you know from the beginning, a couple of others show up over time, including Chris Hemsworth’s character. I don’t consider that a spoiler because he’s clearly in the trailers. Keep in mind that as their backstories unfold, your perception of these characters might change.
– Overall assessment:
As usual, I had no expectations, but I found it a surprisingly satisfying movie reminiscent of a murder mystery theater thing. It has the feel of the type of story that unfolds while you eat fancy food all dressed up around white linen tables while the actors mill about around you.
– It relies pretty heavily on the surprise scare. Mostly, those worked here.
– Content warnings:
A fair amount of cursing, including a few strong curse words.
– I’m not sure there are any morally good characters to root for in here, except perhaps the singer. That said, once you know their backstories, most people will sympathize with the hotel kid, the girl with a chip on her shoulder, and the priest. One thing I like about the movie is how easily it points out that everybody’s got a deeper story. What they show the world is shaped by past events in many cases traumatic events.
– I’ll discuss which themes I think are in here during the spoiler section.
This isn’t a genre I gravitate to, but I think they pulled it off very well. In the end, it’s a satisfying story that I’d watch again, maybe not in theaters, but as a rental in a few years. There’s enough depth to the character reveals that I think a second viewing would be fun. Try to go into it spoiler-free the first time though.
Associate links to follow…
(If you click through and buy something, there’s the chance I’ll earn like $0.04 … not kidding, that’s basically it.)
The Collins Case – 2 FBI agents track down a kidnapped family.
Ashlynn’s Dreams Shorts – a kid deals with her parents’ divorce, bullies, and the wonder of discovery.
Try The Dark Side of Science – Genetically altered kids fight for the right to live.
– I almost cried at the end as the hotel was burning and the kid was dying.
– In part or in whole, sometimes only obliquely this story talks about child abuse, protecting family, cults, post traumatic stress disorder, keeping secrets, robbery, prison, and Alzheimers. That’s a heck of a lot of heavy hitting topics.
– My sympathy lies with the girl trying to protect her sister and the hotel worker kid. I believe her name was Emily. Rose, the sister, was brainwashed essentially by Chris Hemsworth’s character, Billy Lee. The hotel worker, Miles Miller, is haunted by his past as a soldier.