It’s kinda sad when i get to review a dinosaur movie that came out this year and immediatly do a double-take as soon as i get a glance of the premise.
Didn’t i review this as Jurassic Games? Why must i lament the need for a more varied kind of trash?
I’m not even talking in terms of flimsy budgets, there’s no creativity to most of this modern trash, i mean, with this title you could do a spoof of Wes Anderson movies and have stop-motion wool dinosaurs in valet outfits or something, do i really have to write the scripts for you?
Also, by total absurd coincidence, it predates Squid Game, as Dinosaur Hotel was released on streaming sites in June 2021, and even its DVD release predates the worlwide September 2021 debut of the hit Netflix series. It would be easy to assume this was made to capitalize on Squid game’s popularity (especially when we’ll get to the premise), but that simply isn’t the case, it’s just another dinosaur film capitalizing on the modern interest in “battle royale/death games” media.
SO, what is Dinosaur Hotel about? It’s about a woman, Sienna, who is invited to Dinosaur Hotel, accepts and by doing so enters a secret game show where dinosaurs hunt people for the entertaiment of rich bastards. Her goal is to survive the dinos and the night inside the hotel, all to ultimately claim the cash price.
There is a dinosaur hotel, thankfully with eventual dinosaurs in it, good thing since Sienna couldn’t find a babysitter for her kids, so she brings them along. Yes, she didn’t know what kind of game/show this was gonna be, and she’s doing it to support the family after her husband died, but really, this already tells you anything you might want to know about the type of characters.
No need to even call ‘em adjectives, that would be plain cruel, same goes for acting, and i feel bad because some of the cast does feel like it’s really trying its best.
Though, if you’re gonna have kid characters fairly relevant to the narrative, PLEASE hire child actors, not just put the main actress’ kids into the movie anyway, a single funny line delivery isn’t enough to “justify” it.
I don’t wanna be mean, but come on, i shouldn’t have to tell you this, don’t cast your kids into acting roles if they can’t act, movies like these really don’t need the “help”.
Apparently the same UK company behind this made Dragon Fury, also released in 2021, i haven’t seen it yet but it seems to be quite hated by the folks on IMDB, as they spitefully mention it in reviews for Dinosaur Hotel itself. Regardless, you can tell it’s an UK production, given some of the thick english accents you hear from the cast and the overall look of the countryside and buildings.
The CG for the floating robot orb (looking like a Portal robot) that communicates to the players is… stone cold sad garbage, and sadly the dinosaurs don’t look much better. It’s that kind of cheap CG that makes them look almost passable…. in some specific shots.. until they move in any way.
Ok, they look like crap even in still frames, the raptors (also capable of somewhat “meowing” in way more instances for it to be a single goof) are the best looking dinosaurs but some of those models really aren’t asking to be looked at with any degree of scrutiny, like the pteranodon one. Regardless, the dinosaur are very sparsely present… in a movie called Dinosaur Hotel. Good.
I’m trying to see the positives, and i do like the old english hotel setting, but this is just piss poor, sad and humourless garbage, i really can’t find a word more fitting than “dire” to describe the overall tone of the movie overall, it’s just so glacially boring and stilted you’d wish it actually pulled off the familiar trick of sneaking 10/15 minutes of credits and shit to pad its runtime.
So you could be done faster by skipping those. And that really says it all, doesn’t it?