Rating: R, Time: 2hr 21min, Director: Drew Goddard, Cast on IMDb
So how is this movie shot?
This film has an interesting mix of a Pulp Fiction style editing cut mixed in with a mystery like Mystery on the Orient Express. So I think there is a real fun element of different plot lines run in different sections of the movie that become more relevant as the movie progresses. Another stylistic choice was the movie is shot more like a 60s film with a theatre feel. There is much less music in the background than a typical Hollywood production, which is nice, but leads to scenes that can be a bit dead. One of the advantages of the slow, music free scenes is there is a lot of suspense and disorientation with a bang for a lot of surprise kills.
So who was the villain in the film?
That's the really bizarre part in the film. The more the film progresses, the more the movie goes in all types of directions and characters true nature is revealed over time that is very surprising. The only non-surprising character may have been Darlene Sweet, who is a singer, who is on the way to a gig with a sorted past of a missed opportunity. A vacuum cleaner salesman Seymour Sullivan, who is obnoxious shows up and then starts to find multiple bugs in his room. It is the trigger of the film that all is not what it seems at the hotel split between California and Nevada.
All the characters are very well defined in the film, which adds a lot to the movie, since you tend to like all the characters and aren't sure who is the hero and villain. Some of the characters switch sides, so you go from liking them, to fearing them to later sympathizing with them. Another great point in the film is random people you think are the heroes end up getting killed, almost pointlessly. Of course, hence the name "bad times.."
What would you have changed in the film?
Although I liked the silence in the film, I'm not sure some scenes warranted that much silence. For other scenes, the silence really built up the tension to a surprise turn in the film. So its a tough call on that editing choice. Some elements worked really well like secret areas of the hotel that get revealed, but get used for several scenes. I think just using it in 1-2 scenes would have been much more effective. Some of the flashback scenes work and others just don't add much to the plot as far as the point to them. So I would tighten this part to where their skills made a difference in the plot. Overall, it is an enjoyable, quirky film. I think maybe shortening or working on some better dialogue would have sharpened the film possibly.
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