Taylor Chien (director)
30 April 2021 (released)
26 April 2021
You’ll need to stick with this one as even at a slight 74 minutes the early sections may be a chore for some, before the film gets into its stride.
It’s Lex’s (Bianca Haase) birthday and as a treat her friends have arranged a trip to Hawaii and in particular to an abandoned resort that has a reputation for ghosts which was the reason it shut down. There couldn’t be better present as Lex is an expert on superstition and this is a biggie.
The party made up of Bree Chris (Brock O’Hurn), Bree (Michelle Randolph) and Sam (Michael Vlamis) get to Hawaii and then by helicopter to the isolated island where the resort is located. There’s no return flight so they have to get the boat back.
It’s’ here that the friends break down into their cliched parts with Sam being the annoying one, Chris sensible, Bree happy-go-lucky. The time factor presses and after some deviation for a skinny dip, and some beautiful tourist baiting shots of the island, they make their way to the resort.
It’s fenced off but once broken through there’s traces of its old magnificence and spectacular atrium. Sam goes off of the rails with casual vandalism while the party make their way to the notorious room 306.
Finding nothing there they then take quick look around and deciding the caution being the better part of valour make their way out, only for Lex to have left her bag in the room. They have to go back for it and a resort that is now starting to wake up.
And this is when the film starts to come alive too with writer and director Taylor Chien making the absolute best of a fantastic location (a genuinely abandoned resort in Hawaii and reputed to be actually haunted) and a limited budget. With excellent use of lighting, shadows and hand-held camera there’s a very real sense of confusion and danger as the group begin to get the measure of what they are dealing with, what they are dealing with, of them.
The clever use of multiple timelines adds to the disorientation. Which suits the cast as they get something to chew on away from the sterile cliches that started out as. They are generally good and solid and while there’s never much sympathy developed for them, they aren’t totally disposable either.
There is a hint of Stephen King and The Shining (knowingly acknowledged) about the film at points though it doesn’t do it any harm.
The Resort will be released on digital and on demand from 30th April