Friday, November 9, 2012

The Innkeepers

I love horror and I love thrillers. Anyone who has spent more than two seconds on this blog would know this. I grew up watching scary movies and have always loved them. That said, I very recently was thinking about the fact that I haven’t seen a genuinely good horror movie in a while. In fact, it seems the only horror movies I’ve seen in the last decade have all been very qualified successes. For example, I liked both Cabin in the Woods, The Descent and High Tension, but both of these ended poorly, so poorly that I can only say I liked those movies if I more or less ignore the endings. I truly can’t recall a good, start to finish, horror movie that has come out in the last ten years. I’d love your suggestions to the contrary, because, well, as I just said, I love horror and if there’s a good one I’ve missed, please educate me. All that said, I’m happy to report that there is very little I didn’t like about The Innkeepers. I say without reservation that it ranks at the top of recent horror movies for me and is definitely a must see for fans of the genre. 
The Innkeepers tells the story of the last weekend of The Yankee Peddler, a quaint 100-year-old inn in the downtown of some small town. Business at the inn is dreadfully slow and it’s no wonder it is closing down. In fact, business is so slow that the owner decided to skip town early and go on a celebratory vacation before the inn is turned into a parking structure. Two employees have agreed to man the place for these last two nights. Those two employees, Jeff and Claire, just so happen to be nerds for ghosthunting and one of the three guests just so happens to be a clairvoyant. Well, they’re all in luck, because the spirits that may or may not inhabit the place, well, let’s just say they’re not too keen on their home being razed for some damn parking lot.
If you’re a fan of the modern trend of horror movies, wherein the scares come from CGI-ladened gore and mayhem, then this is probably not the flick for you. This movie is more inline with slow boiling haunting stories of old and reminded me a whole hell of a lot of one of my all time favorite horror movies, The Changling. In fact, for the majority of the first act, nothing even remotely creepy happens. It’s just a slow drive toward a scare filled finish. This is the perfect sort of movie for turning the lights low on a dark winter night, turning the sound up, huddling up as a group and getting your pants scared off. The director shot this very well, the acting’s good and Ti West did a very good job of using things like sound, reaction and shadow for the heavy lifting. Good stuff. If you dig the genre, check it out.