The Innkeepers (2011)

January 9, 2012 - 7:07pm | FrighT MasteR
  Tags: George Riddle, haunted hotel, haunting, hotel, innkeepers, Kelly McGillis, Pat Healy, Sara Paxton, Ti West

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Ti West
Kelly McGillis, Sara Paxton, George Riddle, Pat Healy

After tackling sequel territory with Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever, Ti West returns to moody horror with The Innkeepers -- a movie that I had been anxiously awaiting since I saw the spooky trailer. Much like West's previous slow-building effort, The House of the Devil, this pic focuses on a really slow-paced character driven story, as opposed to your standard ghost tale and manages to be a slight improvement over the man's previous additions to the genre.

The story revolves around a couple young 20-somethings as they work the remaining days at a supposedly haunted hotel named The Yankee Pedlar. The duo spend their lasting hours bantering back and forth, while occasionally attending to the mere handful of guests left in the hotel. Determined to find absolute proof that the place is haunted (in hopes that it will somehow save the place from closing), the starry-eyed and easily impressionable, Claire (Sara Paxton), sports a EVP meter and sets out through the halls in search of the resident spirit, Madeline O’Malley.

Despite what the trailer leads you to believe, Innkeepers is in my opinion, more of a slow-paced light-hearted comedy, with bits of atmosphere and very minor horror elements thrown in. The first half of the pic is really just building up the relationship between the two employees and getting to know the remaining guests a little. We're given a couple brief scenes involving Claire hearing "strange noises", but things don't really pick up until towards the end when she begins to see things that she believes to be the hotel's lingering spirit.

While I found House of the Devil's pacing painfully slow and boring, the pacing in this movie (although also slow) still kept me interested, mostly due to the fun dialogue between the two leads. The interaction and silly work-relationship they have together is really what drives the movie, and without it, we would've had to suffer through another House of the Devil. West manages to deliver some decent atmosphere and even a couple creepy scenes towards the end, but it all just seemed to occur a little too far into the flick for my liking, which is coupled with an unsatisfying and ambiguous climax, leading to my overall disappointment in what could've been a solid movie.

While West's House of the Devil was so dreadfully slow to the point of almost being unbearable, this slow-burning effort was a at least entertaining enough to keep me watching thanks to its fun leads. Unfortunately, very little is offered here in terms of horror, with much of it not appearing until towards the end. We're lastly given an underwhelming and ambiguous climax, leading me rather disappointed in the final outcome. Negative aside, it's not an entirely bad film, especially if you go in not expecting a straight-forward horror flick and fans of Ti West will likely enjoy this.

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FrighT MasteR's picture
FrighT MasteR is an avid horror fan / monster hunter extraordinaire, who created and has been running UHM since its inception, way back in 1999.




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