Movie Summary: During the final days at the Yankee Pedlar Inn, two employees determined to reveal the hotel's haunted past begin to experience disturbing events as old guests check in for a stay.
My Review: I was intrigued by this film because it had generated some buzz with its most recent trailer. Oh, you know the one. Raw footage of a rocking chair in a dark room. Then after minutes of staring at it, waiting for something to happen, a ghost jumps out at you. Actually, I got too scared to even watch the trailer…
So, when it became available on VOD, I had to see it. I love a good ghost story!
The premise behind the film is that this old boutique hotel is finally shutting its doors for good. The two remaining employees left, stay the entire weekend since the other employees have already been dismissed.
Luke (Pat Healy) runs a blog that features the history of the hotel, which includes the tale of a young woman’s suicide. In addition, the website also showcases a couple of video clips of what is presumed to be paranormal activity within the hotel. Intrigued, Claire (Sara Paxton) agrees to help Luke capture substantial proof with the time they have left, proving once and for all, the hotel is indeed truly haunted.
Let me just add two thoughts at this point. One: the hotel has a very shining’ish feel to it. It’s no wonder business is bad! Two: Sara Paxton nails her character. She epitomizes every young woman in her early twenties. In fact, without naming names, I was convinced that she reminded me of someone in my family and that saddened me because I didn’t want to see Claire aka girl-in-my-family die or get hurt.
The story is slow. Very slow! At times I even forgot we were watching a rated R horror film. And then enters one new guest, Ms. Leanne Rease Jones (Kelly McGillis) who happens to be a psychic. But of course! For me, she didn’t really offer anything of worth to the story but I suppose her only benefit was to help the audience confirm that there is something disturbing and ominous with the hotel. But for the most part, the interaction between Luke and Claire is entertaining enough that their hijinks carry the film.
But, as the story moves slowly to its finale, events around the hotel begin to become dangerously real as Claire and Luke become caught in the mist of it. It’s like the hotel will not let them leave, again a shining’ish quality to the hotel. (I suppose this was NOT in the employee manual? Try to reveal the haunting, work in the hotel forever...)
And then there is the last twenty minutes or so of the movie. My thoughts, I didn’t expect that! So in the end, I thought it did its job. I was a little disturbed as the credits rolled; I’m not going to lie. But, due to its very slow build, I think this film is not for everyone. If you’re expecting screams out the gate, you won’t find them here. The screams are laughable but minimal in retrospect.
I’m giving this three out of five, because it was a tad bit slow in the beginning. Noe actually watched it with me and she's giving it three 1/2 because she slept with her light on. But, I am saying that it’s worth checking out, if only for Sara Paxton’s performance.
The Innkeepers opens in theatres today.