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The Innkeepers (2011)
Uh... I dug it. (spoliers)
Let me start by saying this movie isn't for everyone and not because some people are idiots - just different sensibilities. That's cool. But I do; however, don't believe it deserves the score it has - esp with all the terrible horror movies pumped out yearly. This one should get some credit. It's a subtle horror moving that builds great tension and has some good scares.
::SPOILERS:: The end was a bit open ended, but I don't mind that. Movies that keep the wheels in my head turning after the credits role are some of my faves.
As far as "getting it" I found that the characters spelled it out during the movie. The hotel is closing, Clair believes that Luke has seen the ghost and she's becoming increasingly desperate to see something supernatural before she loses her chance. Luke explains that she needs to be extremely careful when dealing with ghost/spirit hunting or trying to make contact because you have to be in the right state of mind otherwise you can start seeing things and will spiral out of control. As the movie goes on she begins to believe there are things happening around her, mysterious noises, etc. Every time she investigates and it's nothing she gets a HUGE scare and has to take a hit off her inhaler. During Claire's meeting with Lee she keeps asking if the spirit there is O'Malley, even after Lee tells her NO she still keeps speaking to O'Malley and completely disregards Lee's warning to her. "It was an accident/Stay out of the basement". Claire applies this to O'Malley even though it was a warning about/for her.
So Claire is completely wrapped up in believing O'Malley is there and making contact with her. The point that pushes her over mentally is seeing the old man in the tub. This is the point where she spirals out of control. She's seeing things, shes ends up in the basement (where she inadvertently locked herself in previously )where she is completely terrified without her inhaler after her tumble down the stairs. Asthma attack = death.
Have it figured out? Thought so, but ah so... slamming door scene in the end. Was she seeing things or is there something supernatural happening.. hmm. Maybe the whole O'Malley thing was just a story but Claire's death there ends up being the real ghost at the hotel after all the rumors. THAT is what I liked about this movie. It keeps you thinking and second guessing yourself. It's a ghost story. Are there ghosts - do you believe. Because that's the difference between being scared or not. Is it real or fake? I wasn't bothered that I didn't' get a definitive answer - although a door slamming shut in an empty hotel does suggest something strange - I can't say for sure.
In the end I found the movie to be spooky, the imagery great, the acting done very well and it left me thinking. Even a little creeped out to walk down the dark hallway in my very old house at night.
I enjoy a good ghost story and I believe this delivered. Can't wait to see what the director does next!
The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Fun, blood splattered thrill ride.
When I first saw the trailer I thought "Oh... one of these... for the millionth time." Group-o-"teens" headed to a creepy cabin where they will be slaughtered one by one like we've all seen - thanks 90s teenie bopper slasher flicks. But alas, I was wrong.
I distinctly remember a point in the theater where my mouth was hanging open just from the sheer madness on the screen unfolding in front of me.
This movie was very entertaining. The story was completely wacky and original and that's what I needed. We are constantly slammed with sub par remakes every year, I was doubting there were any creative juices still flowing in the horror movie industry, but this film stands out.
They raised the bar are crazy and I loved it.