The InnkeepersFeature Film |
An effective haunted-house chiller in the classic style.
Writer-director Ti West took a great leap forward with his previous feature, The House of the Devil, and while The Innkeepers doesn't quite match that film's dark wit, it is another unsettling horror movie with a sympathetic lead character. Sara Paxton doesn't deliver the kind of naturalistic performance that Jocelin Donahue did in House, but she has a goofy affability that grows on you, and she can freak out with the best of them. Paxton plays Claire, an employee at a rundown old New England inn, the Yankee Pedlar. (Amusingly enough, it was where West and his crew stayed while shooting House.) Together with her more experienced co-worker, Luke (Pat Healy), she is trying to find evidence of the hotel's resident ghost on the last weekend before it shuts down for good. A retired television actress, Lee (Kelly McGillis), now a spiritual healer, rents a room, and offers Claire some good advice: Stay out of the basement. West has mastered a style of wittily self-aware, but not campy, slow-building suspense. His camera smoothly creeps around the old inn, following Claire as she encounters the increasingly disturbing presence of its former occupants. West never tries to explain too much, but his film satisfies where it counts. It offers engaging characters and ratchets up the tension on the way to a genuinely frightening climax.
|The Innkeepers Trailer|