Spoiler-Free Review of “The Royal Hotel” on Demand: A Vacation Gone Wrong

*This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!*

“You’re here on vacation?”

The Royal Hotel released in limited theaters on October 6th 2023 and is currently available to stream on demand as of October 23rd 2023. The thriller-drama film stars Julia Garner, Jessica Henwick, Hugo Weaving, Toby Wallace, James Frecheville, and Daniel Henshall. It runs for approximately 90 minutes.

Hanna and Liv are having the time of their lives vacationing in Australia, but when they wind up short on cash, they agree to take a temporary job bartending in a remote Outback mining town that puts them in danger.

Here is the trailer:

The Royal Hotel features two gripping performances in a chilling setting, but does all the buildup lead to anything worthwhile? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Images courtesy of Neon

Two worthy leads.

The best part of this film was the two strong performances by Julia Garner and Jessica Henwick. They were both very believable and portrayed some heavy stuff in tense situations. I wish they were given a little bit more content to work with here, but I enjoyed their performances and they elevated this film in a lot of ways.

A setting and premise with loads of potential.

When I first saw the trailer for this film, I was so beyond excited to watch it. It screamed vibes of Wolf Creek and Brokedown Palace. We had a really good set-up and some intense moments built in, but the end result wasn’t what I was expecting…

The Cons:

Images courtesy of Neon

Not sure why this was billed as a thriller?

Sure, there were some intense moments here and there, but I was super frustrated with this film because it felt like we were building up to an insane climax and then the end result was lukewarm at best. It just never really went anywhere…

This really should have been billed as a drama instead. I think that it will disappoint an audience looking for an actual thriller. The drama wasn’t bad, but setting up that expectation made this a confusing watch for me.

Lacked necessary character layers.

I didn’t need that many, but some would have been nice, especially since our two leads are incredibly talented and basically carried this movie. I needed to know more about why they were in Australia in the first place and maybe some crucial moments between them in their past could have explained some of the tension building throughout the film.

So am I in or out?

Images courtesy of Neon

I’m 50/50 on this one…

I think that people will either love or hate this film. I’m somewhere in the middle of that. It wasn’t bad by any means and I actually thoroughly enjoyed the performances by our two main leads, but I wanted SO MUCH MORE!

Julia Garner needed to unleash her inner Ruth Langmore from Ozark to give this movie some serious edge.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on The Royal Hotel in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!


Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl


It was only supposed to be temporary…but when Olivia Crewe accepts a new position that seems too good to be true, she soon discovers that twelve other girls previously had the same job as her. Only none of them lasted for more than thirty days. No notice. Nothing…right before they mysteriously disappeared without a trace.

My supernatural thriller Girl Number Thirteen is out now! I hope you enjoy!

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Ranking the “Wolf Creek” Franchise: “If I tell you, I’ll have to kill you…”

“Uncle Mick won’t hurt you…”

Images courtesy of Prime Video

While I had seen the original Wolf Creek movie back in 2005, I somehow missed out on the rest of the franchise and I decided to binge-watch it all to catch up with our old pal, Mick Taylor. When it comes to horror villains, we naturally think about Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers and more, but Mick Taylor may be one of the best villains I have ever watched in a horror franchise.

Part of what makes the franchise so terrifying is that it is loosely based on real events. I already have issues with watching tourists get lost into the void and Mick Taylor welcomes you to the Outback with a smile and “rain water from the top end.” John Jarratt’s portrayal of Mick is out of this world. Mick is ruthless, sadistic, and terrifying, but he also manages to charm us with his fantastic laugh and quirky humor, which almost makes you root more for the villain as the characters in each film are just along for crazy Mick’s ride.

After watching the entire franchise, I can tell you that I absolutely love every film and season and there isn’t one that I would say is lacking. For today, I am going to be ranking the Wolf Creek franchise, but this mostly comes down to preference and I am anxiously waiting for Wolf Creek 3 to be released, which seems to already be in the works for 2022. Yay!

Please note some spoilers are ahead.

Without any further delay, let’s find out exactly how I ranked the Wolf Creek films/seasons and why.


Wolf Creek 2 (2013)

Images courtesy of Prime Video

It’s rare for me to like a sequel more than an original film, but I think that Wolf Creek truly found its way in the second movie. Mick is back and better than ever and I think everyone realized it’s better to let Mick just be Mick, as he faces off against Ryan Corr in this edge-of-your-seat film.

While the first film took a while to get going, this one starts off with a bang. I thought that Mick was even funnier in this one and there was no fluff in the way. Everything happens at a fast pace and was really brutal.

I thought that Ryan Corr was really good in the film as well and a worthy opponent, but you can’t beat Mick at his own game…

Standout Death: 

Spoiler alert. Do not read if you have not seen this movie!

Images courtesy of Prime Video

Poor Katarina. She just wanted to go camping with her boyfriend and witnessed a lot of horrific things before Ryan Corr’s character picked her up on the side of the road. After screaming hysterically about her circumstances, Mick ends up shooting her…accidentally. There goes Mick’s play thing for the next few months and he is not happy about it.


Wolf Creek: Season 2 (2017)

Images courtesy of Shudder

Whoever came up with the idea to have Mick driving a bus full of tourists through the Australian Outback is a genius. I wasn’t really sure what I was going to get with the second season of the series and wow did it deliver. I was completely addicted to this show and there were explosions, twists, and more terrifying fun with Mick Taylor.

More please!

Standout Death: 

Spoiler alert. Do not read if you have not seen this season!

Images courtesy of Shudder

I can’t think of anything more terrifying than poor Ritchie having his tongue cut out only to be buried alive with a termite mound on top of him…

I am still cringing over this.

Season 2 did not hold back at all…


Wolf Creek (2005)

Images courtesy of Prime Video

The original movie is really frightening, but it takes a while to get going. We follow Liz and her friends while they explore Wolf Creek and we are then first introduced to Mick’s character after their car won’t start.

Once Mick revealed his true sinister intentions, things really get going, but I think this film took a little while to find its footing and that’s not necessarily a bad thing at all. I just think it adjusted better with the later film and series.

Standout Death: 

Spoiler alert. Do not read if you have not seen this movie!

Images courtesy of Prime Video

I really think Liz deserved better. I was rooting for her during the entire movie and I thought that she had Final Girl potential. She kept a clear head and made smart decisions, but it still wasn’t enough to defeat Mick in the end as he tried out his “head on a stick” impression, stabbing her to death.

I think this is also the moment that truly made me realize how good this franchise is. I thought Liz was going to be the survivor and then I realized that the film wasn’t about the good guy winning or saving the day. It was more about Mick and what he was getting away with and how easy it can be to make someone disappear…

Either way, I kind of wished we got some Easter Eggs about Liz in the later film and series. I still don’t know how Mick knew exactly what car she would get into…


Wolf Creek: Season 1 (2016)

Images courtesy of Prime Video

I really liked season one of the series as well, but when I look back at the entire franchise, it feels different from the rest. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because the series should have a different vibe to make it stand out on its own and I think it accomplished that here. It was just really more of a revenge story for Eve and there was a lot of drama and romance sprinkled in, but I did really love the dog!

Standout Death: 

Spoiler alert. Do not read if you have not seen season 1!

Images courtesy of Prime Video

Well, we know that Mick doesn’t actually die, but Eve does defeat him and this was the huge moment on the show. Well done, Eve!

So, what’s next for Mick Taylor?

We know that a new film is already in the works and season 3 is not off the table either so it looks like we will be seeing more Mick Taylor in the future. In the meantime, you might want to re-consider those vacation plans…

Which Wolf Creek films/seasons did YOU enjoy most?

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on the Wolf Creek franchise in the comments section below. Thank you so much for reading and happy viewing!


Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl



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