2023's Most Underrated Psychological Thriller Quietly Lands on Hulu

2023's Most Underrated Psychological Thriller Quietly Lands on Hulu
Image credit: See-Saw Films, Hulu

A dark and underrated movie that tells a story about the horrors of misogyny.


  • In 2023, a new feature film was released by Australian filmmaker Kitty Green.
  • The film tells the story of two American tourists who find themselves alone in an Australian outback town.
  • It is now available for streaming on Hulu.

While Greta Gerwig is arguably the most prominent figure in feminist cinema, Australian filmmaker Kitty Green has built an equally formidable reputation in the documentary world. In 2013, for example, she presented Ukraine Is Not a Brothel, a documentary about the Ukrainian feminist protest movement Femen, and in 2017, the incredibly chilling doc Casting JonBenet, which revealed the brutal truth about child beauty pageants, one of which resulted in the murder of 6-year-old JonBenét Ramsey, was released on Netflix.

In 2019, Green made her feature debut with The Assistant, a scripted film starring Julia Garner and Matthew Macfadyen that tells the story of an assistant at a film production company whose boss turns out to be a Harvey Weinstein-like toxic predator. And now, 4 years later, her new feature-length project has been released, once again starring Garner. Unfortunately, despite screenings at prestigious film festivals and positive reviews from critics, the theatrical release went relatively unnoticed, which is a shame. But lo and behold, you can now watch the new Kitty Green movie from the comfort of your own home, as it has been added to Hulu.

What Is the New Kitty Green Movie About

We're talking about the 2023 psychological thriller The Royal Hotel, co-written by Green and Oscar Redding and inspired by the true crime story told in Pete Gleason's documentary Hotel Coolgardie. In addition to Julia Garner (Ozark, The Americans, Inventing Anna), the film stars Jessica Henwicwic (Game of Thrones, Glass Onion), Hugo Weaving (who probably needs no introduction, having starred in numerous iconic films and franchises, including The Matrix and Lord of the Rings), Ursula Yovich, James Frecheville, Daniel Henshall, and Toby Wallace.

The Royal Hotel may not be a film viewed through a decidedly feminist prism, but its deliberate plot is definitely a representation of everything feminists are fighting against. The story centers on two young American tourist backpackers, Hannah and Liv, played by Garner and Henwic, respectively. While in Australia, after spending all their money, they agree to work in a pub in a remote Australian outback town.

At first, working behind the bar, the young women manage to win the hearts of the locals, but Hannah begins to realize how uncomfortable she is with the predominantly male crowd in the pub, not shying away from sexist jokes, bossy behavior and even harassment. And although the extroverted Liv doesn't take her friend's words seriously, Hannah's fears are justified, and things escalate into a creepy chase by men who want to kidnap her.

What Critics and Audiences Are Saying about It

The Royal Hotel has an 89% score from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and only a 40% score from viewers, but such a low score is due to the slow pacing and lack of drama. But that's exactly what gives the movie the necessary tenor, making it clear that danger follows women even in seemingly ordinary settings.

Although the movie could be called a psychological thriller due to its grounded setting, the narrative and visual aesthetics, especially towards the end, make you believe that The Royal Hotel is a true horror.

The movie successfully builds up tension and makes the viewer feel the fear of two lonely women surrounded by misogynists who, being in the middle of nowhere, do not mind having fun with potential victims. Well, more specifically, claiming victims for themselves.