However, things quickly get out of control when the people of the local mining town introduce the pair to their drinking culture, and events start to take a nasty turn.
The Royal Hotel, which has been written and directed by The Assistant's Kitty Green, premiered at the Telluride Film Festival, with critics largely praising the movie in early reviews.
"The specifics of Hanna and Liv’s situation might be strange and uncommonly nuanced, but this is a tale as old as time. The only thing these girls have the power to change is who gets to tell it; it’s a power that Garner’s character in The Assistant sorely lacked, and one that Green leverages here — in a far deadlier but more pliable environment — with cathartic glee."
"Starring a flawless Julia Garner – this time, alongside an equally terrific Jessica Henwick – Green’s sophomore narrative is once again focused on the distresses and perils of being a young woman in the world, polluted by the dangerous gaze and entitlement of men. It’s a wild ride start to finish, elevated by a healthy dose of Texas Chainsaw Massacre vibes, a pinch of ‘90s-style indie pulp, as well as a nod to the Australian cult flick, Wake in Fright."
"Garner [...] is extraordinary, and the chemistry between her and an equally superb Jessica Henwick, as best friends whose backpacking adventure takes a detour into a kind of hell, doesn’t hit a false note. Yet despite the flawless performances and outstanding craftsmanship, The Royal Hotel is a pummeling experience rather than a revelatory one."
"The Royal Hotel, much like [Green's] previous work, is suffocating, controlled, and anxiety-inducing. A combination of a road movie and a thriller, The Royal Hotel has Green reuniting with Julia Garner as the filmmaker continues to masterfully create a tension-filled dissection of male and female power dynamics – but, this time, in the dusty, desolate Australian outback."
"The Royal Hotel is a sharp and intense slow-burning thriller that never seems to reach a full boil. Kitty Green methodically unravels the complex dynamics of gender and power and challenges our expectations of what might come up in a typical film with this setup."
The Royal Hotel is yet to receive a release date.
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