Friday, May 18, 2012
The InnKeepers (2011)
This is Ti West's follow up to House of the Devil (not counting the miss fire Cabin Fever 2).
The film takes place in the last days of The Yankee Pedlar, a hotel in a small Connecticut village. There are only three guests, a mother and her son, hiding out from her husband and a once big star now a healer. The only two employees are Claire and Luke who are just killing time--- and hunting ghosts. Luke is setting up a website about hotel as a haunted location. As the pair trade off time at the front desk weird things begin to happen...
Low key throw back horror film is the sort of thing that you used to see in theaters before blood and gore took over the box office. The film is all about slowly building mood and emotions. The scares that come late in the film work because the film builds things early.
Actually the film works because we like the two main characters. These are two of the most clearly defined characters in any horror film ever. Claire and Luke are real people that you know. They are so real that as events spin out you completely understand how and why they do what they do. Usually in a horror film we talk about the monsters and the scare, in The Innkeepers, its all about the hero and heroine. We love these people and we really care about what happens to them. If the film works chalk it up to them.
I like this film a great deal. Its a solid little film. Is it perfect? No. The first half of the film, which is all about building characters is a tad slow. There aren't big shocks until toward the end, however there is some slowly building fear and chills. Frankly at times this film is just damn creepy.
I need to warn you, if you are looking for blood and guts look elsewhere. While there is some blood, the film is very retro and even quaint in how its ghosts and ghouls look. It may look stupid in clips, but I assure you in the film it works.
Definitely work looking out for.
(The film is rated R but I'm hard pressed to understand why)