Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Innkeepers (2011) Review

Claire and Luke work at The Yankee Pedlar Inn for the summer, the hotel is believed by many in the area to be one of the most haunted hotels in all of New England. It is the last weekend the Inn will be open for business, so Claire and Luke are the only two employees left to take care of the guests. They are convinced the Inn is haunted by Madeline O'Malley, a bride that hung herself in the hotel after her groom abandoned her, and are determined to get some sort of proof of the ghost on audio or video tape before the Inn closes it's doors for good. Luke has set up a website with pictures and video tape of the Pedlar Inn, but he needs some audio recordings to finish the site. He convinces Claire to do some audio recordings, and she thinks she has made contact with Madeline O'Malley during the night.

Most of the film is filled with dialogue between Luke and Claire, who seem to have great chemistry together. I can remember a few jobs like this one...bored to tears but I enjoyed the company of who I worked with any way. Luke seems to be deeply in love with Claire, even though she doesn't even seem to notice him. Claire is very innocent but determined and brave. Claire even seems more focused on capturing proof of the ghost than Luke does, even though the website was his idea.

The Innkeepers is a Slow-Burn style of movie with lots of time and care given to the characters. Building great characters can lead to building great scares, if the audience cares what is happening to the characters. It can make the movie much more shocking and heartfelt if something tragic happens to them that is unexpected. That is why older films like The Changeling, The Sentinel, and Ghost Story were so effective in the scares, they took their time in building the suspense and the characters. Ti West is attempting to recapture that style of storytelling but in a modern way. The movie is not very scary, there are just a few jump scares, so if you are looking for scary or gory scenes you may not like The Innkeepers. Ti West seems to be one of the few up and coming directors that feels that horror films can take their time building a believable story and likeable characters. I just hope the next film he does packs more of a punch at the end.

What truly makes InnKeepers special is the performances by Sara Paxton, Pat Healy, and Kelly McGillis. The Dvd and BluRay will be released on April 24th and contains Commentary and Behind the scenes special features. InnKeepers is directed by Ti West, who also directed House of the Devil and Cabin Fever 2The Innkeepers will make an excellent addition to your Horror Dvd collection.

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