An Average Movie-Goer’s Review
Spoilers! If you don’t want spoilers – check out the Spoiler-Free post
I love horror movies and if I’m going to watch them anyway, why not write an entertaining/funny review from the POV of an average movie-goer and not a professional critic.
Today we’re looking at 2021’s The Resort
As a birthday gift, four friends head to the restricted Kilahuna to explore an abandoned resort said to be haunted by fearsome spirits.
Is The Resort (2021) Scary?
The Resort doesn’t start scary despite a few forced jump scares and then doesn’t get scary for a long time. Even then it might make you jump a bit but the few gory scenes with practical effects might creep you out. Overall you won’t leave The Resort scared of anything except movies that aren’t worth it.
The film opens with two surprisingly similar-looking security guards searching through an abandoned resort. One finds broken glass and an empty bottle on the ground as he continues his search. In a jump scare, one of them scares the other in the basement before the two hear a woman yelling.
The power goes out and in traditional ghost story fashion, it gets so cold, they can see each other’s breath. One, I can’t tell which one, is dragged away by something as we get some synthy retro music and the title screen.
Cut to our main character Lex (played by Bianca Haase) arriving home and being surprised by her friends with a birthday cake. Immediately the dialogue is bad with Lex giving us the exposition of a Hawaii birthday trip and then Bree (played by Michelle Randolph) introducing herself as “Extra” since she planned the whole thing.
Sam (played by Michael Vlamis) then buts in with the needless exposition that they all need to pack. The last friend Chris (played by Brock O’Hurn) is the most natural acting of them as he stands there holding the cake.
As Lex blows out the candles we find out that happened in the past and Lex is now in the hospital following the events of whatever happened in the hospital. A Detective Peterson (played by Dave Sheridan) questions her about the events and we flashback!
As the friends have their cake (we’re going to skip the bad dialogue) we learn Lex is a true crime/horror writer and her book is about the abandoned resort at off-limits Kilahuna island. Her friends then surprise her and tell her they found someone willing to take them to the island. This presumably can only go well if you ignore the fact that Lex is in the hospital in the present.
In the present the Detective pulls out Lex’s phone and says he watched the videos, questioning where her friends are. Lex tells him they’re all on the island but when pressured further, she admits they’re all dead, killed by the half-face girl. Whoa, spoilers.
In the past Lex tells her friends about the haunted resort on Kilahuna island and by tell, I mean she plays a YouTube video about a podcast that plays a YouTube video that tells the story. Apparently, the island is thought to be haunted by several spirits but the main evil is a half-face girl who was killed years ago.
A resort was built but abandoned two years later and shut down after several people disappeared with blame put on the half-face girl. The next day the group set off on their trip and after arriving in Hawaii they jump on a helicopter to get to Kilahuna island. The next scene is the most generic rich person YouTube video I’ve ever seen with random shots of the helicopter complete with copyright-free music playing.
Arriving on the island the helicopter pilot tells them he won’t be taking them back and they have to make sure they catch the 7 pm boat or else they’re stuck on the island. The group starts their trek to the resort and Lex debates with the non-believer Sam on the existence of the supernatural.
I’m sure it was a great conversation with amazing dialogue but I can clearly hear Bree and Chris’s separate conversation behind them which is extremely distracting. At times you can’t make out what Lex and Sam are saying because it’s mixing with Bree and Chris’s dialogue.
The group detour to a waterfall where they go for a swim for literally no reason whatsoever besides extending the runtime with another generic YouTube video. Back in the present, the cop continues to question her about the trip and for some reason, doesn’t question why she’s not skipping directly to the people dying part.
In the past, the group continue their journey and eventually reach the outskirts of the resort. We’re skipping some uninteresting scenes where literally nothing happens except Sam’s character being annoying and overall more bad dialogue, you’re welcome.
Lex rips through some fence covering and the group proceeds inside. Sam, who has been drinking the entire time, decides to throw a cinderblock through one of the glass doors because he’s an idiot. This explains the glass and empty alcohol bottle the security guards found at the beginning.
While Sam heads to the basement to get to the pool, the rest of the group proceed to the most haunted room, Room 306, and find nothing of interest. Lex takes off her backpack so Chris can take some pictures of her but everyone gets distracted by a bunch of birds swirling around the resort.
With it being almost 6 pm Bree and Chris convince the reluctant Lex and Sam to leave and start heading to the boat. When reaching the fence, the group can’t find the opening Lex created and she realizes she left her backpack in Room 306.
After a quick debate, the group goes back to Room 306 but the backpack is missing. Searching the room the group doesn’t notice or bump into the ghost woman standing behind a corner.
From another room, Chris calls out to the group where he’s found Lex’s bag and a dead eviscerated coyote. We then see a repeat of the beginning scene with the security guards but cut to the viewpoint of our main group.
The group spots the security truck by the gate but assuming that they’ll get arrested for trespassing they hide. They then hear the screams of the security guard being dragged away and they decide to get the fuck out. Chris breaks a glass door with an axe and they run to the truck but Chris and Lex want to go back and help the guards.
Bree and Sam aren’t about that altruistic life which leads to an argument with Lex and Chris. Chris takes the keys from Sam while Bree gets in the truck and the doors close on their own, locking her in. The group tries to break the windows of the truck but it doesn’t work and the truck turns on and speeds off.
The truck breaks through the resort doors and falls about a dozen feet to the floor below. Chris runs down to help Bree but she’s dead.
In the present, the detective expresses his disbelief about the car moving on its own and believes that Bree did it on her own accidentally. For some reason, Lex fails to mention that the car wasn’t on and Chris had the keys but whatever.
Back in the past, Chris rejoins Lex and Sam as they start to see their breath signaling a ghost. They all turn toward the resort lobby and spot the half-face girl emerging from the ground. Running down to the basement to find the pool exit Sam found earlier, they instead find themselves in some kind of storage room.
The half-face girl lunges at them from a nearby elevator causing the group to run and eventually ending up in a much larger storage room. With the half-face girl seemingly gone, they cautiously walk through looking for an exit. Sam falls a bit behind and is immediately grabbed by the half-face girl and dragged away.
Lex and Chris realize Sam is missing and spot him walking past some pallets. They then spot him standing facing a random wall like he’s been Blair-witched. Chris approaches him but his flashlight goes out as Sam lets out a demonic scream. The flashlight turns back on and we see Sam’s head is now backward and not looking too alive. His body flips back the right way round and he lunges at Chris.
Evil Sam overpowers Chris and attempts to choke him but Lex spots a random pair of scissors on the ground and stabs him in the neck. As Lex helps Chris up, Sam, who sounds normal now, asks why she stabbed him and asks for help.
The half-face girl then appears behind Sam and rips his FREAKING FACE OFF in an unexpectedly good practical effect. Chris and Lex run eventually finding a maintenance elevator but there’s no power.
A dead Sam starts calling out to Lex in a sing-songy way and he appears, with his face hanging off, from behind a pillar. As he approaches Lex and Chris we see the half-face girl behind Sam seemingly controlling him.
Chris slowly approaches evil Sam and tries to reach out to the real Sam who he believes is still inside. Evil Sam immediately throws Chris on the ground and stomps on his head, exploding it. The elevator magically gains power and Lex jumps in as the half-face girl drags Sam away again.
Back on the first floor of the resort, Lex exits the elevator but is met by a dead possessed Bree singing her happy birthday. Lex stupidly asks if Bree is alright…
Bree lights a match and as it goes out the screen fades to white and we cut back to the present with Lex telling the detective she doesn’t remember anything else. The detective assures her it’s going to be okay and places a call to his chief.
While he’s on the phone and for literally no reason whatsoever Lex decides to take his picture where she realizes he has the same black veins as Sam. There’s no reason for this at all, at no point in the movie was picture-taking shown to reveal evil. This is just to set up a quick jump scare when it’s revealed that the cop is possessed.
Turns out Lex never left the resort and is instead dead, with her soul trapped by the half-faced girl. The film ends as the detective reveals himself to be the half-faced girl and she attacks.
The Resort is not good and is bad for the first hour of the hour and fifteen-minute movie. Sure the last 15 minutes are mostly good but that doesn’t make the first hour worth it… at all. The dialogue, story, directing, and pacing are all bad for pretty much most of the movie.
The acting was also not good but it definitely got better as it went along except for Dave Sheridan’s but that might be because of the script. Brock O’Hurn’s (Chris) acting was actually good but I’m not sure if that’s because he had a lot fewer lines than everyone else.
The entire movie felt like the writer had a good idea for a ghost story and then was forced to stretch it out to a 75-minute movie. Had the movie focused more on them actually being in the resort it might have made this movie okay, but you instead watch a group of friends taking a trip for most of the run-time.
The pacing itself is also weird, the YouTube-like scenes and the cuts to the present with the detective in the hospital ruin a lot of the movie. We learn all of Lex’s friends are dead in the very first hospital scene and that kills 90% of the suspense. Those hospital scenes didn’t even add anything to the story, it was a waste.
Overall I can’t recommend The Resort to anyone. Skip it.