Worst Service Ever Provided by Dinosaur Hotel (2021)
Title: Dinosaur Hotel
First Non-Festival Release: June 11, 2021 (Digital/Streaming Platforms)
Director: Jack Peter Mundy
Writer: First Shannon Holiday
Runtime: 77 Minutes
Starring: Chrissie Wunna, Chelsea Greenwood, Alexander John
Where to Watch: Check out where to find it here
Sienna Woods (Chrissie Wunna) is strapped for cash and desperate for a way to alleviate herself and her family from financial ruin. After the death of her husband, taking care of her two small children seemed like an impossible task to do on her own. One day she gets a call that she has been invited to participate in a game show that, if she wins, will pay her handsomely. Unable to secure a babysitter last minute, Sienna decides to bring her kids along for the journey after they promise to stay in their hotel rooms. Once there, she learns the true nature behind the reality competition and learns that she isn’t just fighting for financial freedom, she’s fighting for her family’ life.
Dinosaur Hotel is a flat journey to the center of unambitious filmmaking lacking talent, direction, and sense.
There’s very little to say about this film other than it is designed to be trash. I get that, however, it is very possible to make trash enjoyable and fun. Dinosaur Hotel muddles its poorly thought out but admittedly fun idea by failing to make it campy or intentionally comical. With some better care to the plot or characters, this could have been achieved. Unfortunately, it plays everything straight leading to the most miserably paced 77 minutes of your life.
The game itself is pointless. One will either survive or die, but the rules themselves are not clarified until they are violated or attempted to be violated. It’s always a head scratcher on what exactly is supposed to be happening within the narrative. Characters who are barely even given paper-thin stereotypes to cling to. They’re all interchangeable enough that it’s hard to know or care when one of them bites the dust. Horrendous dialogue borders on comedic genius and utter trash, and I only truly believe it’s funny because of the single deadpanned reaction the actors exchange while speaking about, what should be, truly bizarre happenings.
The entire cast sleepwalks through the film, which as mentioned before, makes it enjoyable considering how disproportionately tame their reactions are to noticeably extraordinary things. For instance, if someone showed you real dinosaurs in the flesh, you’d think one would respond appropriately and not with the same level of enthusiasm and awe one might react with to the latest iPhone launch. “Oh neat” doesn’t quite cover it. It does get grating towards the end, where it feels like the worst mash up of Jurassic Park and Hostel, with a weird floating cgi robot ball added of course.
Again, I know that this isn’t exactly Oscar bait, but it’s fair to expect some level of polish, right? Don’t get your hopes up here. Between horrendous effects and the dullest location ever, everything about Dinosaur Hotel screams mediocrity. Flat, boring cinematography filled with ugly shots and sad scenery zap any energy that could be generated from the admittedly fun concept. I know these films are jokes but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be in on it with them from time to time!
I am a firm believer that you cannot appreciate the good without suffering through the bad. Watching Dinosaur Hotel all the way through is indeed a form of suffering. With few redeeming qualities, it cannot be enjoyed even in an ironic manner. Terrible cgi, atrocious acting, a senseless script, and some of the worst pacing I’ve ever seen makes this truly one of the worst films of the year. You might be able to find some humor in it due to the ridiculousness of it all, but I know I am not that fortunate. This is not the venue I would recommend checking into and would suggest you take your horror film travel plans anywhere other than Dinosaur Hotel.
Overall Score? 1.5/10