Okay, so the last time I did a movie review, I mentioned one called The Innkeepers, and I thought I’d already reviewed it. I did a quick search, though, and don’t see any reference to the movie, so I guess I’ll review it here.
Now, to be fair, it’s been a while since I watched it. Few months, maybe more than a few. So I can’t remember the entire thing beat by beat. But I remember movies well enough I can tell you this one’s a sleeper.
The Innkeepers dates from 2011, and stars a couple of nobody actors who carry the bulk of the thing. It also features an aged and heavier Kelly McGillis, however, and she provided the movie’s “star power” and a touch of misdirection.
The central characters are Sara Paxton as Claire and Pat (male) Healy as Luke, a pair of the last employees of a the venerable The Yankee Pedlar [sic] Inn, closing its doors forever after becoming a legend among the paranormal believer set as a haunted location. Fortunately, Luke and Claire are ghost hunters with the will to capture the ghosts before the Inn is forever shuttered, and have the place to themselves when the only other staff member calls in “sick”.
But an aging actress turned psychic (McGinnis), attending a local psychic fair, checks into the hotel. Luke and Claire, trying to capture their video and EVPs, work around her while the otherwise empty hotel creaks and groans.
It quickly becomes evident something happened in the hotel, and neither Luke nor Claire has the full story.
The movie builds at a snail’s pace. There seems to be a movement among independent movie companies to produce movies which build gradually before unleashing a runaway freight train ending. This movie does that. The build-up seems so slow, and while it can be entertaining, it’s also pretty boring in places. Some of the scenes intended to show tedium were a bit too effective, if you know what I mean, and the humor sort of fell on its face in a few other places. But when the creepy set in, it really got going and the crescendo came down like an avalanche.
In a way, the end twisted too. It wasn’t altogether unpredictable, but it sort of caught me unaware. I thought the twist was good, and well-placed.
Overall, I enjoyed the movie. You do need to be patient with it while it grows, however, so if you choose to watch it, be warned of that. The last part of the movie moves fast and furious and pays off a lot of the set up from earlier on. It’s a good ghost story if you’re looking for one that isn’t gory, filled with loud noises, or presented as “found footage” from a shaky camera first-person perspective.
I gave it four stars. If you decide to see it, or already have, let me know what you think.