THE RESORT (2021) Reviews of Hawaiian ghost horror – updated with a clip

 

The Resort is a 2021 American supernatural horror film about paranormal investigators seeking proof of an infamous ghost haunting an island.

Written and directed by Taylor Chien (Cornered), the Double Down Pictures production stars Bianca Haase (Terrordactyl), Brock O’Hurn (Boo 2! A Medea Halloween; Boo! A Madea Halloween), Michael Vlamis (Spiral), Michelle Randolph (Chasing Nightmares; The Undertaker’s Wife; House of the Witch) and Dave Sheridan (Scream Test; Bloody Summer Camp; Big Freaking Rat; et al).

Plot:

Lex (Bianca Haase) is a writer obsessed with the paranormal. For her birthday, Lex’s three closest friends, Sam, Chris and Bree, decide to take her on a surprise trip to an abandoned holiday resort in Hawaii. The empty hotel is the supposed haunt of an infamous ghost, The Half-Faced Girl, and Lex is determined to find her.

When they arrive on the island, they find a massive, beautiful and eerily empty resort. Just as Lex decides that this was just an urban legend, her friends start to disappear one by one, leaving her at the mercy of the evil spirit…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

The Resort takes a while to get to the good stuff, and the rhythm is interrupted every now and then. But the scares are effective, the cast does what they can with the material, and the cinematography is great. The island and the resort are captured well…” Film Threat [Note that this website openly takes payments for reviews (!) so this may well factor into their opinions]

“It takes more than a beautiful location and a badly pixilated CGI ghost girl to make a horror film […] Time-wise, 70% of the movie was spent developing the relationships between characters, 25% was spent exploring the purportedly haunted location and the final 5% was dedicated to trying to scare viewers… and absolutely failing.” Horror Society

“By the time you think they’re getting you warmed up with the good stuff, the film is nearly over. Even so, The Resort is a feast for the eyes and should be praised as such. The Resort isn’t a “good” film. But it is a film that offers a solid looking production…” Killer Horror Critic

“Chien makes the mistake of adopting a flashback structure […] killing much of the suspense that might otherwise have gripped us. That said, these characters are so uninteresting and their journey so monotonous that by the time they’re in danger you couldn’t care less who makes it off the island.” The Movie Waffler

“By independent horror standards, The Resort doesn’t even try to be a gritty horror flick, but a boring and lifeless one. Aside from semi-decent practical effects and make-up tricks, it’s stuck on autopilot where most of the film’s runtime is populated with characters wandering around trying to locate spooky creatures.” The Only Critic

“This is found footage cinema for those who can’t stand them or get dizzy. The casting is unreal. I was too fascinated by the mismatched couples and fake friendships to notice how nothing critical happens around the midpoint. The action is postponed so late, in fact, that the script builds nothing but apprehension.” Tales of Terror

The Resort does work up a few jump scares in the last half hour but they’re nothing you haven’t seen before. The most obvious bit of recycling is the victim who returns Evil Dead style to stalk and taunt their former friends. The film’s small cast means there aren’t many deaths or effects. There is a well-done scene of a face being ripped off, but a rotating head/body is obvious CGI.” [read more at] Voices from the Balcony

Release date:

In the USA, Vertical Entertainment will release The Resort on April 30, 2021. A British digital release is scheduled for the same day.

Vertical Entertainment will release the film on DVD in the UK on 7th June 2021.

Cast and characters:

Michael Vlamis … Sam
Brock O’Hurn … Chris
Bianca Haase … Lex
Michelle Randolph … Bree
Dave Sheridan … Detective
Dante Jimenez … Mike
Romualdo Castillo … Henry
Rodney Gemberling … Ghost
Richard Teston … Waterfall guy
Andy Bumatai … Helicopter pilot
Rebecca Jarvis … Jessica
Casey Dacanay … Mrs Kendall
Avery Pascual … Sarah
Joaquin Veizaga … Preston
Kevin Petitto … Landlord Randy
Thomas Sanchez … Car buyer
Maria Olsen … Book store ghost
Josh Willis … Emergency room doctor
Lizze Gordon … Emergency room doctor
Mason Dodson … Emergency room nurse
Tim Wakefield … Emergency room nurse
Rafael Lopez … Head smash leg
Danika Massey … Paranormal P.I. host
Brandon B. Graham … The Haunting of Kilahuna narrator
Will Meldman … Rideshare driver

Filming locations:

Makena Beach & Golf Resort, Kihei, Maui, Hawaii

Technical details:

75 minutes

Trailer:

Clip:

MOVIES and MANIA round-up and rating:

While the four leads are agreeable enough (despite a slightly annoying joker guy) and there is some gorgeous Hawaiian scenery, it takes a full forty-eight minutes into the seventy-five minutes running time for anything even vaguely spooky to happen. And when the supernatural stuff does kick in, aside from a juicy face-ripping, it lacks genuine scares. A time-wasting police investigation flashback scenario doesn’t help matters.