The Innkeepers Review
Haunted Hotel? Who You Gonna Call? Check Out What We Thought Of The Innkeepers.
The Innkeepers is the latest release from Ti West, the director that brought us the gritty, yet slightly comical Cabin Fever and its sequel, both of which I was fond of.
The film was brought to my attention when I was skimming through my recent issue of Total Film which had given 'The Innkeepers' a wonderful 'five stars' and had described it (I'm paraphrasing) as 'Clerks meets The Shining'. Considering not many critics give films a five star rating I was pumped up for the film's release.
The plot revolves around two very bored hotel workers, while the film is set in one dead end night with only a creepy old women staying in the hotel.
Before I start to criticize the film, let me say this, the first half of the film is simply great. The back and forth dialogue between the two employers is entertaining and displays the comedy aspect to the film and their relationship. But soon the plot becomes weak and typical and in general, not 'scary'.
I will praise the actors, especially Sara Paxton who pretty much carries the film and Pat Healy who plays Luke - the bumbling 'I'm in love with the pretty girl but I won't do anything about it' type of guy. Which works for the film. He's clearly bored with life and has taken an interest in ghosts. Claiming he has seen one in the hotel, Claire takes up his little hobby too.
Again, the film loses everything good about it once they lose Luke who decides he needs to sleep after his overnight shift. By leaving one character, it lost the sense of back and forth wit and the atmosphere they had created in the rusty old fashioned inn. Instead, this gives the character of Claire to explore and bond with the creepy woman, who is a psychic as well as a writer of a book based on spirits. I rolled my eyes. It's another plot device used in many horrors that claim to be different. The character who knows more than they should, who just so happen to be there? By this point I just wanted something creepy to happen... and it never truly does.
Another problem with the film is indeed the 'horror', like I said previously, nothing is scary about this film, not even the atmosphere. The scenes where Claire is trying to find the sounds of the ghosts consist of loud noises in the dark and bad static from a radio. The only slight hint at suspense in the film is at the very end and it is achieved a very simple shot rather than the actual appearance of a ghost.
There is at least one long, very haunting shot which creeps down a corridor in almost slow motion. It turns slowly towards a door and - I knew it was going to slam shut - but it never did - not for approximately a minute. The camera sat still and I sat in silence waiting for something. It was truly creepy and sinister and I only wish the whole film, mainly from mid way to the end, had that sense of eeriness that single shot held.
Overall, a watch-able film with a strong idea but fails on delivering anything. Certainly not worth the five star review, perhaps a two or three star.
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