“The Royal Hotel” is a gripping thriller that shines not only for its suspenseful plot but also for the exceptional performances delivered by Julia Garner and Jessica Henwick. Julia Garner, known for her outstanding role in “Ozark,” once again proves her versatility as an actress. Her portrayal as Hannah is nothing short of mesmerizing. Garner effortlessly slips into her character, bringing depth and authenticity to every scene, making you believe her emotions throughout the entirety of 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 theirSynopsis
Filmmaker Kitty Green takes us on a journey into the often unexplored underbelly of the Australian pub world. This gritty exploration introduces us to intriguing and, at times, downright terrifying characters. Hugo Weaving’s commanding performance as Billy stands out as electrifying and a must-watch for thriller fans, reminding us of “Cape Fear.” The interactions between Billy and Hannah genuinely escalate, creating tension so thick you can cut it with a knife.
“The Royal Hotel” also boosts itself by having cinematographer Michael Latham, who takes full advantage of the Outback scenery, making it another character itself in the film. This intensifies with Hannah and Liv not fully understanding the surrounding area and the townspeople in it. It’s been a while since we had a great American visit to Australia thriller. Luckily, Kitty Green and co-writer Oscar Redding give us a more than capable film.
Overall Grade: 3.5/5 Stars