Friends often ask me to recommend indie horror films on Netflix Instant. (American Netflix, sorry!) Now I can just send…
A ghost story for the minimum wage.
A horror-thriller centered on the last two employees at a haunted hotel that's going out of business.
For some, director Ti West, is the saviour of the horror movie; a referential filmmaker who harks back to the glory days of the genre. For others, like me, he makes rather tedious, drawn out films that are devoid of terror or originality. The Innkeepers is more of the same, a film that carefully pays homage to the past masters whilst putting no new spin on proceedings. It is a movie that suffers from all of West’s usual problems, so wrapped up in the set decoration and ambience of the location that he practically forgets he is supposed to be making a horror film that might actually be scary.
A rundown hotel is a perfect location for a ghost story,…
"It was a night much like tonight.... Here at the Yankee Pedlar Inn... The night was dead silent and the breeze cool and crisp. The ornate wood carvings, elegant paintings and oak smell in the ancient halls bore witness to a great tragedy. Death. Now the dark halls are said to be haunted by the weeping spirit of Madeline O'Malley. She wanders the Yankee Pedlar in her tattered wedding gown with rolled over eyes. They say you can still hear her cries in the night..;"
"And don't forget.... Never go in the basement...."
Sound like a old fashioned ghost story? Good. That's the point.
Ti West has been a guy that I've been growing increasingly fond of after I've had…
I've said it and I've written it before, but it must be said and written again. Sara Paxton is absolutely incredible in this film. Her performance as Claire is so fully fleshed out that it is basically impossible to separate the actress from the character now. All of her awkward mannerisms and quirks are perfection and I really hope that Paxton has a long and fruitful career. I'm completely honest when I write that her performance is one of my favourite performances ever.
Ok, so this one's a bit of a mess.
I love a good ghost story as much as the next person, especially when handled right. Personally I love it when the focus is on things unseen, thus building atmosphere from which the suspense comes. (a thing Paranormal Activity and the classic The Haunting did so well). It doesn't need to be graphic or gory, but can be if dosed correctly.
Another approach I like is the over the top, light hearted fun approach, like in The Frighteners, or maybe even The Ghostbusters. That's why I was pleasantly surprised by the start of this film. Its poster and synopsis seem to suggest a full out scary ghost story, but it actually…
Another winner for Mr. Ti West. Very effective. The slow build makes for many intense moments. I like that he isn't afraid to take his time.
While trying not to go insane in the wait for CHEAP THRILLS, I needed a Pat Healy fix so I thought I'd check into the Yankee Pedlar Inn for a 4th or 5th time. It's great when actors of his ilk are afforded meaty roles and can flex their chops for more than a couple of scenes. One of many reasons why this strange horror genre is so precious. Ti West has a habit of getting really good performances out of his cast. See also about 5 of his THE SACRAMENT actors.
Every time I watch this, I'm drawn in by the adorable Sara Paxton (also in CHEAP THRILLS. Fuck). She is central to proceedings, but the friendship her character has with Healy's is by far my favourite aspect of the film. Natural, believable and enough to carry a film on its own.
But I like the spooky stuff too.
I'm continually surprised at the films of Ti West. I was introduced to him by the awful short he directed for VHS, which I thought was the worst of the lot. However after having just seen House of the Devil and now this, consider me a fan.
If you approached this as a straight horror you might be disappointed, this is more of a character film - think of clerks but set in a Inn and add a dash of the supernatural. The characters felt believable and the situation was easy to relate to (boredom at work).
What I like most about Ti West's film is his grasp of atmosphere and tension, he drags the tension out to it's breaking…
Slow moving, they said it was. And they were right about that. Indeed, it's a good half hour too long; so many extraneous establishing scenes meant to make us care more about the main characters, but it's just banter. They also said it was properly old-school scary, but it's nothing of the sort. Poltergeist? Rosemary's Baby? The Shining? Now those are haunting movies. The Innkeepers is so tame by comparison, it's almost a category error to call it a horror.
+ Cool, old-school look and vibe.
- Feels underwritten. Atmosphere is important, but I wish there was more of everything else; flesh out the characters with some more dialogue, put some more work into the scares.
I preferred this one to House of the Devil mostly due to the addition of a couple more characters. The slow burn that Ti West works with in both can be snuffed out entirely if the viewer gets bored and that happened to me a time or two in Devil, but never did in Innkeepers. The creepiness steadily ratchets up and the cast are game. I was on board throughout and look forward to seeing what West does next.
Initially intriguing with a low key attitude and likeable cast, but this soon falls away to horror film cliches and staged jumps. Potential for Ti West but after this and his woefully poor entry in ABCs of death, I'm yet to be convinced.
Summary: The Innkeepers has a pretty passable climax and the two main leads are pretty likable, but it lacks of enough scares or screenplay to fill its inflated running time. 60/100 [C+]
During the final days at the Yankee Pedlar Inn, two employees determined to reveal the hotel's haunted past begin to experience disturbing events as old guests check in for a stay. The Innkeepers is directed by Ti West and starring Sara Paxton and Pat Healy; The premise is interesting and the two main characters are funny and likable. I also liked, Ti West's previous work "The House Of The Devil", though i have to admit that it was quite boring; Now we have "The Innkeepers" and it was…
This film is rated 5.5 on IMDb (typically anything under 6 signifies crap) and 79% on Rotten Tomatoes. Sometimes critics seem to be more reliable than the general public but this was not one if these times, in fact the IMDb rating was far to generous for this cliche ridden snooze fest. It's about an old hotel that's closing down and a couple of employees trying to figure out a paranormal mystery about the hotel that goes back a century or so.. Meanwhile they contend with a string of bizarre guests. The story has far too much talk and the dialogue is unremarkable at best and cringe-worthy at worst. There are only maybe two scary minutes near the end. Also…
Expels tedium and unoriginality from every pore.
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