Circa 1968, several strangers, most with a secret to bury, meet by chance at Lake Tahoe's El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of one night, everyone will show their true colors - before everything goes to hell.
Stephanie is a single mother with a parenting vlog who befriends Emily, a secretive upper-class woman who has a child at the same elementary school. When Emily goes missing, Stephanie takes it upon herself to investigate.
In the late 1960s, an aging priest suffering from early onset dementia, a struggling African American female singer, a talkative salesman on vacation and an unfriendly young woman who may or may not be a hippie, arrive by chance on the same day at Lake Tahoe's "El Royale", a once glitzy but now rundown roadside motel lying on the very border between California and Nevada, and operated by a single troubled staff member who holds many dark secrets. Throughout the day, it becomes increasingly clear that almost no one there is exactly who they seem, but things really go from bad to worse in the evening when heavy rain hits and someone much worse than those inside arrives to find "a friend" and bring hell to all those unlucky enough to be there at the time.
Starts off slow with the characters coming together, but then the mysteries and tension pile up and the you ride the suspense all the way to the end. As many have noted, it does heavily channel Tarantino with the use of flashbacks and alternate viewpoints, but isn't jarring. The violence isn't gratuitous, either, which helps maintain the focus on the actual happenings.
All the characters were played well by their respective actors, but I do feel at least 20 minutes could've been shaved off the finale without detracting from anything.
Definitely a must see.
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