Criminally Overlooked 2023 Thriller Just Quietly Dropped on Hulu

Criminally Overlooked 2023 Thriller Just Quietly Dropped on Hulu
Image credit: See-Saw Films, Hulu

A new powerful and honest film by Kitty Green is now available for streaming.


  • Last year saw the release of a new movie from Australian director Kitty Green.
  • It's a true-life inspired story about two tourists who find themselves in mortal danger while working in a remote Australian pub.
  • The psychological thriller is now streaming on Hulu.

American actress Julia Garner gained worldwide acclaim after starring as Ruth Langmore in the Netflix series Ozark. But the actress' career wasn't limited to television, and in 2019 she gained even more fame after starring in The Assistant, a drama by Kitty Green in which she starred opposite Pride and Prejudice and Succession star Matthew Macfadyen. The film recounted the story of an assistant at a movie production company whose boss turned out to be a Harvey Weinstein-type sexual offender, and Garner's powerhouse performance had both critics and audiences raving.

Now, four years later, Julia Garner is back in collaboration with Kitty Green, starring in a tense psychological thriller inspired by a 2016 Australian documentary about the bizarre and definitely creepy events that took place in a pub near Australia's most isolated town. The new film was released in November 2023 to rave reviews from critics, though it didn't get much media attention. However, the movie has now been rediscovered by many as it has become available on Hulu.

What Is the New Thriller About

Kitty Green came to prominence as a documentary filmmaker in 2013 with Ukraine Is Not a Brothel, a poignant exploration of the Ukrainian feminist movement, and four years later, in 2017, she directed Casting JonBenet, a searing and unflinching investigation into the exploitation of children in beauty pageants. In other words, Green knows her stuff when it comes to tackling poignant social issues through the lens of feminism.

At one point, she saw Pete Gleason's Australian documentary Hotel Coolgardie. The film was about two Finnish tourists who find themselves working part-time at a pub in the Australian outback, but end up facing harsh realities at the hands of the locals. And now, in the year 2023, Kitty Green's artistic interpretation of these events has been released, which places great emphasis on the feeling of helplessness in the face of patriarchal attitudes towards women, which assume that they are nothing more than objects to be claimed.

The movie is called The Royal Hotel and tells the story of two frivolous American backpackers, Hannah (Garner) and Liv (Jessica Henwick), who have spent all their money in the first days of an active nightlife in Sydney. As a result, they get an offer to earn some money at the pub of the same name, The Royal Hotel, which is located near a small gold mining town somewhere in the outback.

Working behind the counter, the two women immediately capture the hearts of the crowd, but one of them begins to notice how unsafe she feels around the overwhelmingly male clientele of the pub, who are not shy about making misogynistic remarks and acting aggressively. Although the more outgoing Liv does not take her friend's concerns too seriously, Hannah's worries then prove to be legit, and the situation turns ugly, involving a creepy chase by a group of men who try to kidnap her.

What Critics and Audiences Are Saying about the Film

On the website Rotten Tomatoes, the movie received an impressive 89% fresh score from critics. As many reviewers pointed out, while the movie could be considered a thriller due to its grounded setting, the story makes you feel that The Royal Hotel is a true horror.

Despite this, the movie only received a measly 40% from audiences, but such a low score is due to its slow pacing and lack of any substantial drama. However, this is exactly what makes the movie so gripping, as it shows that even in the most ordinary of circumstances, women are always threatened by men.