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The Innkeepers (2011)
A very good horror film for a generation that grew with the finest the genre ever had to offer
As an avid horror fan I spend most of my time looking for new films that can actually be considered horror, since most people seem to believe nowadays that good horror means jump scenes and in your face scares. I've noticed by reading comments that there's a reason for the demise of the genre, which once was so fruitful: the younger the audience, the more impatient they are about the part of a horror film that actually makes it good cinema, the storytelling. Films such as The Exorcist, The Shining, Poltergeist and Rosemary's Baby (to name a few of my all time horror favorites) are timeless classics not because they focus on making you jump, but on having good characters, good mood and ambiance... and all of that takes time to build and patience from the audience, a scarce good in our times, so it seems. Much like Ti West's other great film, The House of the Devil, The Innkeepers takes its time being a FILM before going into the HORROR part of it... it has pretty good character development, sets an eerie and believable mood and, most of all, has great pacing. It does not take shortcuts to make young audiences shrill, it has no big jump scenes (thank God!!!), it has no unnecessary gore, it isn't fortuitously graphic and, above all, it has no useless explanations. Whenever I see people complaining about things such as idle dialogues and slow character build up I understand why in our day and age there are almost no good horror films anymore, the internet/social media generation has no patience, they seem not to understand that horror films are, first of all, FILMS, and as such some of the same rules that apply to films like, say, Ben Hur, also should apply to horror ones. The Exorcist is, to me, the perfect example of an almost flawless horror masterpiece, with PERFECT pacing, PERFECT character build up and TERRIFIC mood setting and all of those three very important pillars of filmmaking can't be rushed... I'd much rather see a film such as The Innkeepers, which takes its time to deliver a significant punch and makes you care whether someone actually dies in the film than others like Scream, which begins with cheap thrills and deaths and carry that way all along never caring about the story, the characters or anything that might vaguely resembles a good film. My point is, if you are a kid looking for a Z-Generation film, give this one a skip, but if you are looking for a proper horror film, that can actually be accounted as good cinema, not only loud scares, try The Innkeepers and (if you haven't already) The House of the Devil... Ti West has shown himself to be one of the few new directors that really understand what HORROR is all about.