The Resort is a 2021 feature film written and directed by Taylor Chien. The Resort is a movie that is not quite self-aware enough or scary enough to find a happy balance, instead falling somewhere in the middle and ultimately taking much too long to get going.
The film finds great strength in its use of its location. Using Hawaii as a destination was a sound choice. One where it is easy to imagine all those who worked on the film must have had some glorious moments enjoying the beautiful location. Having this locale host a ghost story was also a solid decision, as it is not what we are used to seeing. The nice juxtaposition between paradise and the dread of a haunting is unique, helping the film have a solid identity.
From here the core cast all know their characters well and portray them solidly.
The problem lies mostly in the material given. While some solid 90s pop culture references are sure to please the target demographic of the film, it does also come across as a little cheesy and forced as well. The stand out of our four main friends here being Sam as portrayed by Michael Vlamis, not just that he is great at being the annoying overly sexual friend, but for his haunting turn in the third act.
Where things lose steam is really in the second act of the film. While it is interesting to see the friends exploring the island, this is not entirely what we came for. The film gives us a strong opening with two security guards being talked by something strange, which leads to a good fake-out scare followed by the real deal. So, we go in knowing that there is an otherworldly presence waiting for our friends. Really, all the elements that have led up to the touchdown on the abandoned island are suitable enough. These characters though just simply don’t do well by themselves, leading to some forced moments of swimming and other shenanigans.
You will want them to get to the resort long before they finally arrive, and even once in the haunted location there are no real scares to be had at least at first. It isn’t really until the climax of the third act that we finally get some haunts, with some genuinely brutal gore effects on display. It just feels that the film was holding these moments much too close to the chest, letting all the tension spill out in a dense loaf, and much like a loaf of well anything, this needed to be parsed out much more gradually to this point.
Conclusions For The Resort Movie
If the film had a few stronger moments of building tension then this would have been much easier to recommend overall. In the state, it is in though unless you really need a vicarious tropical escape then this might not be for you. If that is what you want, then there are nature documentaries that could do much better for you without the haunted house-style climax. If you enjoy a bit of camp with some not altogether annoying people, then you will have some moments of enjoyment to glean from this film. There are many more inspired and original
options to choose from, though.
Consider this one ‘the last resort’ for a late-night watch.
The Resort gets
One and half-faced girls out of 5
Interview with Taylor Chien, director of THE RESORT
- Directed and written by Taylor Chien, The Resort was acquired as a screener for review purposes.
- Starring: Brock O’Hurn, Michelle Randolph, Bianca Haase, Michael Vlamis, Avery Pascual and Joaquin Viezaga.
- You can watch The Resort in Select Theaters & On Demand from April 30, 2021.