Is The Resort Based on a True Story?

Directed by Taylor Chien, ‘The Resort’ is a fun and scary horror movie set in the backdrop of the mysterious Hawaiian island of Kilahuna. The story centers on a group of four friends who visit the dreamy tourist destination of Hawaii looking for adventure. They celebrate one of the friend’s birthdays, and since the friend is an aspiring horror fiction writer, they decide to take her to the allegedly haunted resort of Kilahuna island.

The tale spirals out of control as their attempts to escape from the resort are thwarted by paranormal activities. And the ending reveals the dreadful fate of the protagonists. The movie is an extravagant horror bonanza, but you may wonder whether the movie is based on real events. Well, in that case, let us probe further into the matter.

Is The Resort a True Story?

‘The Resort’ is partially based on a true story. You may believe in ghosts, but in most cases, they are just seen as figments of one’s imagination. But that does not mean that ghosts can’t exist – their prevalence in dominant world cultures is perhaps only second to God. Ghosts exist in the forgotten past, a past that cannot be uttered without incorporating morbid images.

An abandoned hotel, therefore, is a fertile ground to breed such ghastly phantoms. And the titular resort of the movie is as real as it gets, although the island may be fictional. Cinematographer-director Taylor Chien made the movie from his own script. And the idea came to him as he was on a trip to Hawaii himself. The upbeat narrative of the movie’s first half comes from the genuine euphoria of visiting the coveted tourist destination.

The director conceived the idea of the film as he was walking by the abandoned resort premises. He asked executive producer Will Meldman whether they could use the location as a backdrop to a movie. Sheets were hanging around, giving the impression of ghosts, and the scene where the friends are spooked by a sheet stuck to a tree is seemingly aided by a prop already present in the location.

It was the Makena Beach & Golf Resort, formerly the Maui Prince Hotel, in Makena Island. The place came off as really creepy, and Chien thought of spinning a horror film out of it. Some of the rooms were dilapidated, and while on tour, they heard chilling stories from the people who used to work there. According to the locals, paranormal experiences occurred in the resort. Some of the rooms were allegedly haunted, and the bellman would not get the bags during filming.

As per the director, the tale of the Half-Faced Girl is also based on true folk legends that he incorporated into the script. Certain things from the original stories were altered to assimilate them into the story, but most of it, the director conjured, was based on research and stories they heard from the locals. It seems to be based on the legend of the Half-faced Girl of Old Pali Road, which is a tragic story of a haunting and local myth of Hawaii. A girl was raped and murdered in the jungle with the skipping rope that she carried everywhere. People going down the Old Pali Road have seldom encountered a seeming apparition, floating down the road, skipping rope. Curiously, in witness accounts, only half of her face is visible. Many believe that the other half is invisible because animals ate half of her face.

Therefore, the movie takes inspiration from the architecture of Hawaii and its local legends to weave a macabre story of ghastly repercussions. However, if you plan to visit the damned island resort yourself, beware since the venue was scheduled to be torn down by the end of 2016. Therefore, there may be snakes and debris, and chances are, you may find the ghosts to be quite shy since even the cast and crew did not have any supernatural sightings. All things considered, the story is mostly fictional, although there is some truth in it.

Read More: The Resort Ending, Explained