Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Most Anticipated Films of 2011: Nick's #3

3. The Innkeepers

One of the most distinctive horror directors working today is Ti West. He understands that blood and jump scares aren't to be liberally sprinkled around a movie, but used sparingly and in the right places. At this, he excels, so that after watching 20-30 minutes of nothing happening, your sense of complacency is suddenly and unexpectedly shattered in an explosive act of violence and you're shaken from your comfort zone, in a way that's more horrific than the torture porn peddled so gleefully to dating teens and bored mallrats. West makes you feel the world the character inhabits, making it that much more of an impact when things start to go south: In House of the Devil, he creates this impeccable 80s atmosphere (enhanced, if you shelled out the extra cash for the VHS edition) and lets you breathe it in, waiting with Samantha, the babysitter, exploring the big, empty house and opening doors and drawers, finding…nothing; in Trigger Man, the handheld DV camera becomes the fourth member of a hunting party in the woods, walking around, drinking, waiting, feeling the disappointment of finding no prey, until, in both films something terrible happens out of the blue, and you know the characters' worlds are changed forever, and you kinda wish you could go back to being bored. The Innkeepers is about a haunted hotel going out of business, and with Ti West attached, I don't care about anything else (if you want to raise a complaint based on Cabin Fever 2, don't: much of the movie was reshot and edited without his involvement and he has since disowned it).

The conflict arises after the ghosts smoke in their room and lose the $50 security deposit.

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