Monday, January 7, 2013

No Vacancy

Sometimes a movie comes along and you think you should hate it but you kind of don't.

2011's The Innkeepers is that movie.

See, it's kind of this Clerks-esque ride into the "ghost hunting" thing that Syfy has made so popular, much to the dismay of anyone but a complete dumbass.  I mean, seriously, I'm perfectly OK with admitting the possibility of ghosts just because of the Law of Conservation of Energy but do these people really expect something to happen to them a la Amityville?  Call me a skeptic but unless I see stuff flying around and blood dripping off the walls, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that the dead really just don't care about you that much.  Because you're the tool with the camera.

Yep.  Tools.

In The Innkeepers, we are treated to the final weekend of  the Yankee Pedlar's existence.  (The Yankee Pedlar is a REAL hotel, by the way, in Torrington, Connecticut, that is REALLY supposed to be haunted.)  We don't know much about the hotel other than that it supposedly houses the ghost of Madeleine O'Malley, about whom we also don't know much other than that she hung herself in the hotel and the owners buried her in the basement.

Aww.  Why so glum, chum?

Claire, (Sara Paxton) and Luke (Pat Healy) are stuck manning the front desk and most of the movie is them not manning the front desk because they really only have 2 legitimate rooms booked throughout the whole movie.  But, they're amateur ghost hunters, dammit, and they want to prove that this place is haunted.  Except they broke the camera so they have to do it with audio, only.

Enter the failed actress, Leanne (or Lee, played by Kelly McGillis) of whom Claire is a HUGE fan.  She's kind of a mean drunk but she's also a psychic.  Since she can sense some stuff, she, like a gap-toothed five-year-old in a Shake'n'Bake commercial, helped.

Kind of just by being there.

In the most useless way possible.

Fuckin' magical lesbian.


Anyway, there are a LOT of reasons to hate this movie, primary among them because there are really no scares in it until the very end.  There's no escalation of events, either.  It goes from zero to sixty in the last fifteen minutes (actually more like zero to 35... school zone, y'see...) and drops to zero again.

But the funny thing is I don't hate this movie at all.  I kind of like it.  It's got great dialogue which is incredibly natural, the cast is wonderful and the story is believeable.  It's very much a throwback to the single-setting horror flicks of the seventies and eighties and I will say that, compared to Shark Night 3D, Sara Paxton was kind of delightful to watch as the weird, quirky, pixie girl.  She didn't always look as if she were about to burst into tears.  And Pat Healy is adorkable.

This movie could be seen as a testament to the failure of the economy that people are willing to hang onto a job until the very last second for a paycheck, even if they'll completely slack off on the last day. 

This movie is, for lack of a better word, cute.  It's got some scares and it does rev up at the end but don't watch it if you expect to be scared.  You won't be.  Watch it for the character interaction which is actually brilliant.

You kind of expect Dante and Randal to show up.


  1. I don't understand the haters for this movie. It's pretty fantastic if you ask me, and I actually *did* find it verrrry creepy. Great music, acting, characters, writing, etc. Ti West is the man (The Roost notwithstanding).

    1. I didn't find it to be creepy until the end but your mileage may vary. Personally, I think Ti West has a lot to answer for after Cabin Fever 2.