[Review] “The Royal Hotel”

“The Royal Hotel” unfolds as a riveting thriller, drawing viewers in with its suspenseful plot and standout performances by Julia Garner and Jessica Henwick. Garner, acclaimed for her role in “Ozark,” showcases her acting prowess once again, delivering a mesmerizing portrayal of Hannah. Her ability to immerse herself in the character brings authenticity to every scene, allowing audiences to believe in the emotions conveyed throughout the film.

Americans Hanna and Liv are best friends backpacking in Australia. After they run out of money, Liv, looking for an adventure, convinces Hanna to take a temporary live-in job behind the bar of a pub called ‘The Royal Hotel’ in a remote Outback mining town. Bar owner Billy and a host of locals give the girls a riotous introduction to Down Under drinking culture but soon Hanna and Liv find themselves trapped in an unnerving situation that grows rapidly out of their


Under the direction of filmmaker Kitty Green, the movie takes a compelling dive into the often overlooked world of Australian pubs. This gritty exploration introduces viewers to intriguing and, at times, chilling characters. Hugo Weaving’s commanding performance as Billy electrifies the screen, reminiscent of the intensity seen in “Cape Fear.” The dynamic interactions between Billy and Hannah heighten the suspense, creating a palpable tension that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats.

One of the film’s strengths lies in cinematographer Michael Latham’s skillful utilization of the Outback scenery. The vast and mysterious landscape becomes a character in itself, intensifying the experiences of Hannah and Liv as they navigate unfamiliar territories and encounter enigmatic townspeople. This attention to detail adds depth to the narrative, immersing the audience further into the gripping storyline.

“The Royal Hotel” stands out not only for its thrilling narrative but also for its successful portrayal of the Australian setting. Green and co-writer Oscar Redding craft a storyline that captures the essence of a great American visit to Australia thriller, providing audiences with a captivating and engaging cinematic experience.

The chemistry between Garner and Henwick adds another layer of richness to the film. Henwick’s performance complements Garner’s seamlessly, contributing to the overall success of the movie. Their on-screen partnership enhances the emotional depth of the narrative, making the characters more relatable and the unfolding events more impactful.

As the plot unfolds, the tension between the characters escalates, particularly in the interactions between Billy and Hannah. This escalation keeps the audience invested, eagerly anticipating the next twist and turn in the storyline. “The Royal Hotel” effectively balances its suspenseful moments with character development, creating a well-rounded cinematic experience.

In conclusion, “The Royal Hotel” is a captivating thriller that excels in both its narrative and performances. With Julia Garner’s outstanding portrayal, Hugo Weaving’s electrifying presence, and Kitty Green’s adept direction, the film successfully explores the darker facets of the Australian pub world. The meticulous attention to cinematography and the utilization of the Outback landscape as a character enhance the overall viewing experience. This movie is a commendable addition to the thriller genre, offering audiences a gripping and memorable cinematic journey.

Overall Grade: 3.5/5 Stars

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