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Review: The Innkeepers

The Innkeepers
Feb. 2, 2012by:
7 10

PLOT - A man and a young girl are working the last night at a rural Connecticut inn with a spooky past. They determine to find out if there really are any ghosts living at the hotel before the place shuts down for good.

REVIEW - Writer/Director Ti West, after only a few films, has developed a very distinctive style for himself and that style is very much on display in his latest film, THE INNKEEPERS, a tense, haunted house style thriller.

Sara Paxton stars as Claire, a tomboyish girl in her early 20s with little to no ambition in life. Her co-worker (Pat Healy) is slightly older with equally little in the way of ambition, other than to crush on Claire. These are our two leads and, like HOUSE OF THE DEVIL before it, we are focused solely on them for the vast majority of the film.

Without any kind of chemistry between Paxton and Healy, the film would stumble but West wisely doesn't try to immediately crank up the tension in the hotel and spends the first act instead building a rapport with his two leads. Paxton is a charming horror vixen, mainly because she doesn't look like a scream queen. She wears no makeup, dresses in dowdy work clothes and has a boyish bob cut. But she's cute and funny all the same and we understand why her co-worker has the hots for her and uses his paranormal interest to spook her into coming to him for protection.

West is a director of considerable weight when it comes to tone and style and hits the mark beautifully on those notes throughout the film. It's a quiet, lurking affair of impending dread and uses that to build suspense instead of cheap jump scares. West will often hold a shot so long with nary a noise on the soundtrack almost daring you to look away.

But while West excels at those aspects of filmmaking, he still seems to struggle with the development of his scripts. I'm still not really sure what the meaning behind the ghost story was and if you read too much into it, you'll notice how flimsy it really is. There's a ghost at the hotel! But wait, that's not really the ghost! Or wait...maybe it is? But who's that?

It feels sometimes through the movie that West had an idea of what he wanted to do and had to beef up some of the plot around that bare bones idea, filling it with mythological mumbo-jumbo and a psuedo clairvoyant-cum-drunk played by Kelly McGillis. The movie would've been just as effective (and perhaps moreso) if West had kept his mystery a mystery.

While the script is paper thin, THE INNKEEPERS is still an effective little indie thriller that continues to prove Ti West is a horror director worth watching. If he can find a collaborator for his next script, I'd be very interested to see where he can go.

Source: JoBlo.com

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12:45AM on 02/03/2012
I was surprised that this was actually decent. The story wasn't great, but West managed to create some pretty good mood and atmosphere. Here's my full review:

[link]
I was surprised that this was actually decent. The story wasn't great, but West managed to create some pretty good mood and atmosphere. Here's my full review:

[link]
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10:56PM on 02/02/2012

Sorry

But this film really was boring, I didn't connect with the characters, the budget could be felt by every scene. And I just felt that there was more potential than what we ended up with, I loved his first film, had no problem with the slow burn, I just felt like it all added up to a boring climax and that there was really nothing distinctive about this film at all. Nothing screaming out "This is how my vision is different than every other haunted house flick". Sorry, just my opinion.
But this film really was boring, I didn't connect with the characters, the budget could be felt by every scene. And I just felt that there was more potential than what we ended up with, I loved his first film, had no problem with the slow burn, I just felt like it all added up to a boring climax and that there was really nothing distinctive about this film at all. Nothing screaming out "This is how my vision is different than every other haunted house flick". Sorry, just my opinion.
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3:15PM on 02/02/2012

Agreed

This was a good film. There was a smaller scale feel without the poor production values, to me, that makes for a light-hearted horror that is quite enjoyable.
This was a good film. There was a smaller scale feel without the poor production values, to me, that makes for a light-hearted horror that is quite enjoyable.
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12:11PM on 02/02/2012
Good review! I really enjoyed this.I think the story was fine. It didn't need to be complicated. It was simple and let the audience think about things for themselves. Fun and spooky.
Good review! I really enjoyed this.I think the story was fine. It didn't need to be complicated. It was simple and let the audience think about things for themselves. Fun and spooky.
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11:31AM on 02/02/2012

Boring

This is the most overatted director of all time house of the devil sucked and this believe or not sucked worse, so damn boring and utterly pointless. If your going to direct horror than at least try to be scary and horrifying! You'll get more chills from the teletubbies halloween special for fucks sake!
This is the most overatted director of all time house of the devil sucked and this believe or not sucked worse, so damn boring and utterly pointless. If your going to direct horror than at least try to be scary and horrifying! You'll get more chills from the teletubbies halloween special for fucks sake!
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12:12PM on 02/02/2012
While I disagree greatly with your opinion, I love the Inframan avatar!
While I disagree greatly with your opinion, I love the Inframan avatar!
+1
5:01PM on 03/16/2011
Nice to hear this is at least decent, now I have something else to look forward to in addition to Insidious.
Nice to hear this is at least decent, now I have something else to look forward to in addition to Insidious.
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