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The first scare of The Innkeepers comes courtesy of one of those
diabolical internet videos wherein the viewer is suckered into staring
intently at the screen for ages waiting for something to happen only to
have the crap scared out of them by a screaming effigy suddenly
appearing from out of nowhere.
Director Ti West then takes this basic premise and applies it to the rest of his film, delivering long stretches of total boredom, the obnoxious characters milling around participating in mundane activities and indulging in dull conversation, all in an effort to catch his audience off-guard with a cheap fright. Not only is this dreadfully irritating after the umpteenth time, but it means that 90% of his film is a real snooze-fest.
As with his 2009 film, House of the Devil, West does manage to create a fairly creepy atmosphere, mostly through effective use of his 'old dark house' location and a brooding soundtrack, but this is completely negated by the endless tedium. If West ever wants to make a truly terrifying horror movie, he really must pay a lot more attention to pacing and character development. So far, I'm not impressed, Mr. West.
3.5 out of 10, rounded up to 4 for IMDb.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Everything in this world is connected. Whether we understand that or
not depends on our sense of perception... There is no real in this
world, it's all a state of being. We're all divine beings that
incorporate one energy in the universe, like droplets of water in a
vast ocean. The universe has a plan for each and every one of us."
Only into a horror film can they inject this kind of a goofy New-Age soliloquy and get away with it, huh? But that's why we love monster/ghost flicks, they're so brazen in their retardation. However, TI makes it a little tough for us to love it. The universe may have "a plan for us", but it forgot to concoct a plan for this movie. Being a dull, mediocre ghost story isn't much of a plan, is it?
The first 20 minutes made me feel as if I was watching a sitcom TV pilot disguised as a horror story because in this relatively vast time-span absolutely nothing happens haunting-wise. Instead, we are inundated with two annoying, barely interesting slackers, i.e. the two main characters. Who are predictably "quirky". But of course.
And how they pile on the irritation. The guy has stupid rooster hair, makes unfunny snide sitcomish comments every 5 seconds (without a laugh track to support him, though), while having the apathetic comatose stare of an actor clearly bored with his role. (If it turns out that he wasn't bored with it, then I don't wanna see him in a role when he IS.) The girl has decaying red nail-polish and torn jeans which I might assume was included so that we know she's a moron from the get-go. Messy nail-polish: the hallmark of every modern young woman defined by a severe lack of discipline and intelligence.
She is played by a horrible new actress who has the charisma of a stoned chair, Sara Paxton. Born in L.A., she had the right breeding to make it straight into movies without having either talent, charisma, or looks. And that's why Hollywood stinks.
But no. This can't be a set-up for a haunted-hotel sitcom, simply because she snuffs it in the end. (She wouldn't leave the haunted house, of course. I did say she was thick.) Although, to be fair, this IS a ghost story so anything's possible. But it couldn't be any worse than "Friends", so they might as well go ahead and shoot it.
The epilogue was an amazing experience though. What is it even necessary? Cut it out of the movie and nothing whatsoever would change. Epilogues are supposed to provide extra information, aren't they? And they do in even the stupidest movies. These stupid-movie stupid epilogues may provide STUPID information, but information nonetheless. So in a sense there is a true breakthrough here originality-wise: an epilogue without any additional plot-points - or even hints of what transpired or what is about to transpire. Epilogues like this one don't come around every day in the goofy world of horror and thriller films. Well done, movie.
The former fancy and elegant Yankee Pedlar Inn will be closed in a
couple of days to become a parking area and the employees Claire (Sara
Paxton) and Luke (Pat Healy) are taking care of the hotel while the
owner is traveling on vacation in Barbados. They are bored and the
hotel has only four guests: an unpleasant and angry mother with her
young son; the TV actress Leanne "Lee" Rease-Jones (Kelly McGillis)
that claims to be psychic; and an old man that spent his honeymoon in
the hotel and wants to say good-bye the room where his wife and him had
spent their wedding night.
The amateur ghost-hunters Claire and Luke decide to find evidences that the ghost of Madeline O'Malley, a bride that committed suicide when her fiancé left her in their wedding day, haunts the hotel and they summon her spirit. However, they are not prepared for what comes next....
"The Innkeepers" is a slow-paced horror movie with a promising story; unfortunately something is missing to be a good film. The characters development is long and poor, and the first two-thirds of the plot goes nowhere. Further, there is no clear explanation why Claire is threatened by the ghost of Madeline O'Malley. One good point is to see again fifty- five year-old Kelly McGillis, who has aged with dignity without trying to be forever young. I still recall her in "Witness" and "Top Gun" and it was a great surprise to see that gray-haired lady that she has become. My vote is five.
Title (Brazil): "Hotel da Morte" ("Hotel of the Death")
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm not even sure why I've given it a 2, except I was impressed that Kelly whatever her name is hasn't resorted to too much plastic surgery and still looks quite natural. Anyhow, this film could only truly be described as 'horror' if you're five years old and haven't seen any horror films before. Anyone over the age of five can probably point out why it isn't 'horror' Nothing actually happens except the main female lead starts to get on your nerves really quickly. She'd obviously been told to be 'quirky' but can't act enough to pull that off. Someone is in love with her though because she's in far too much of the film. A good hour could have been left on the cutting room floor just from her scenes alone. Every other character was far more interesting than her and were generally ignored in favour of her. Seriously...not a good enough actress for that amount of screen time, someone should have pointed it out to the director. So, all in all, not a horror, nothing happens and for gods sake don't employ that actress again. Kudos to Kelly whats her name for avoiding the scalpel.
don't watch this if you enjoy good horror, or even bad horror.
i was quite excited to see the trailer and to think that this little gem could have slipped by my horror consuming eyes and i was eager to watch the innkeepers.
what an utter disappointment!
the trailer is a proficient edit of the entire movie - just watch that. there is nothing more in the movie except really boring time wasters.
the trailer shows the 2 scary shots in the film and none of the long, laborious, boring filler it takes to get to those 2 seconds of film. (and i am serious about the 2 exciting seconds of the film - perhaps less than 2s.)
innkeepers is not as good as some silly paranormal shows on TV that try to hook you in with scary music and sound effects but really have nothing to show you. the characters are about as fascinating as watching paint dry - i felt for the female lead as she tried to put some 'perk' into the bad material.
even up to the last minutes i was hoping for some twist revealing the cast were all dead or some of the guests were ghosts or anything, anything! to redeem the movie! alas no, the ending was as flat as the rest of the movie.
in fact, i'm bored now just writing about it, but hopefully i will save you some time with this review.
save your time and money and watch anything other than this film tonight.
This movie could be someones college film project...
Bad casting: one decent actor, and the others of eBay? Bad scripting: Was the script writer being paid for a short-script? Bad directing: ...or the lack of it. Bad horror make-up: child labor is not allowed, guys! Bad acting: blame the script writer and the director for the decent actor, and the rest on scholarship cut-backs...?
The plot is not even somewhat original, but this movie actually won the "Scariest film"-award at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2011!? Bad horror year? Cause I've seen scarier commercials... But on the positive side: they didn't use a lot of topless girls to make up for the "pointlessness" of the movie!
I've been writing this review during the last part of the movie (was so bored), and are now hoping for an The American Psycho-ending: ...waited in vain.
Agree with the other person. Apart from the laptop which seemed to be a main theme for the movie,this film could have been set in 1900's times. They even managed to talk about cheap bread for sandwiches- i mean talk about heart pounding! I got bored after half an hour and switched it off. The most interesting thing that happened in this half hour was the girl taking the bins out. A cheap rip off on the shining- and even that was bad I 100% wouldn't recommend anyone to watch this film. You will be bored after the first 10 minutes.Don't waste your time on this!!! I don't even understand why they are releasing it in the cinema. The absolute worst horror film i have watched. I have never switched a film off half way through, but i had to with this i was just thoroughly bored. I would rather watch paint dry, than make myself suffer and watch this. Trust me!!!
I don't say this lightly, but I'm afraid this was truly, truly awful.
From the moment I put it on the acting was not just poor but down right
irritating. Overacting from a lead that displayed no charm, screen
presence or realness. The script was extremely poor and the direction
was even worse. The film presents numerous scenes where you are left
wondering, what was the point of that? There was no build up to the
'scares' and when they did happen they were undermined by a screaming
tantrum from the lead actress replacing any fright you might have
experienced with a feeling of wonderment as to why the studio
sanctioned this film. Perhaps the worst thing about this film is that
the trailer actually looked quite good. It doesn't surprise me that the
PR people chose to not advertise the film on the back of the lead
actress, or any of the other actors for that matter. I note that in
previous reviews this film was compared to "insidious" which to me is a
travesty. I'm not saying Insidious was great - I thought it was maybe a
6. This film is a 1 and everyone concerned with it's production should
be truly ashamed of themselves.
I implore you, save yourself a truly irritating experience and don't watch this film. It is utter tripe.
I have to say that I am a bit surprised by the rating here. I thought
this movie had a bigger following and was generally seen as something
different (in a good way). It seems though, that people are more likely
to go see the same old rather than go watch this and enjoy it. I'm not
complaining though, because we all have our taste and we should stick
Back to the movie though, that if you wanna be negative can be called a somewhat of a repeat of Ti Wests last movie. But that wouldn't be fair to the movie and it wouldn't be entirely true. House of the Devil was about something completely different even though both movies seem to have a similar setting.
What I love about both those movies, is the pace that Ti West goes. He even goes scarier with this one (or puts a few more scares in it, than he had in House), but still maintains to keep it character and story driven at the same time. Sara Paxton is phenomenal portraying a geek. I hadn't seen her partner in crime, but he's pretty good too. I guess some people will be disappointed because they have another picture of Sara. But again, this would be unfair to her and the movie.
I'm not here to make your mind up, but I hope I can prevent anyone who might not like this, from watching it. Again don't compare it to House, but expect it to be a slow build-up too.
I liked this film. Having watched Ti West's "House of the Devil", which
I thought had great promise but failed to deliver, I was interested to
see where he went with this and I was pleased with the outcome.
First and foremost, this is a ghost story. It is not torture porn in the mould of the Saw franchise. It is not a slasher movie like Friday 13th. It is not Rob Zombie. If that's what you want from a horror movie then you probably won't like this. The Innkeepers owes far more to the likes of The Others, The Woman In Black, The Innocents and some J-Horror movies than most recent Hollywood offerings.
Ti West obviously knows his way round a horror movie and The Innkeepers showed that he knows how to manipulate an audience with good characterisation and deft camera work and he knows that the threat of a good scare is just as important as the scare itself. Suspense here is the key element and it delivers this with aplomb.
Like House of the Devil, this film is heavy on style and, given the subject matter, comparisons with The Shining are unavoidable. To say it comes up short of The Shining's high standards is true - it lacks the killer third act for example - but give it a chance; The Shining was written by Stephen King and directed by Stanley Kubrick.
The only criticism I can offer is that the story ends rather abruptly. While more substantial and satisfying than House of The Devil, it still lacked the punch which would promote Ti West to the next level of film makers.
However... this is an independent movie, conceived and shot by a team who obviously know what they're doing and should be given the opportunity to do so again.
Go see this movie, get it on PPV, buy the Blu Ray or DVD when it comes out, because there are not enough people making films of this ilk today.
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