Movie Review: The Innkeepers

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.


A Perfect Spiral

Well, another fantastic movie came my way this weekend.

Mason’s got a mental problem. Ever since childhood, Mason’s been a little twitchy. He has an inhaler, is socially awkward and estranged, and doesn’t always function well. He’s possibly even a little delusional. Or a lot delusional. On the upside, however, he’s a great artist.

But Mason’s calling his one and only friend, someone he’s known since he was a normal kid, in the middle of the night and asking for help. And it turns out Mason’s got a dark and very scary side. He’s a study in contrasts.

So when he meets Amber, a pretty, outgoing and gregarious girl who takes an almost instant shine to Mason, things seem to be looking up. Or do they? And when Amber agrees to sit for Mason as his newest model, the real Mason starts to come out for the first time. For better or worse. Continue reading

Another Terrific Movie

Ree Dolly is raising two kids, keeping up with laundry, cooking, cleaning and chopping firewood for the coming winter. She’s also going to school and is thinking about joining the army. And she’s only 17.

Ree’s mother is a mental invalid, so the responsibility for her 12 year-old brother and 6 year-old sister have fallen to her. She gets them fed, gets them to school and gets them in bed. She had to give up her horse because she can’t afford to feed it anymore, and the homestead her family lives in is more than enough to keep her busy.

Until one day when the sheriff comes knocking at her door, and says her father has a court date set for the following week and he appears to be a “runner”. Oh, and did the sheriff mention he used the house and property as collateral for his bond payment to get out of jail? If Ree’s father doesn’t show up for his court date the bond company will be the owners of the house and land, and Ree and her family will be evicted.

Ree sets off on a search through the backwoods area she lives in trying to find her father and save her home. But she meets with some very strange opposition along the way, and soon learns that blood isn’t actually thicker than mud no matter what anyone tells you. Continue reading

Three Movies I Liked Finale

Time for me to tell you about the last movie I enjoyed from a couple of weekends back. I know, I know, but it’s been a slow blog week and I don’t have much else to talk about.

So, the final movie I’ve discussed before. It’s not a new movie, and it’s not one I’ve not reviewed before. But I watched it with a new appreciation for one of the stars and I wanted to see if maybe I just didn’t give it a fair chance the first time around. Continue reading

Three Movies I Liked Part 2

Okay, so last Friday I mentioned I found three movies I liked. I’ve told you about one of them. Now I’ll mention another one, a really good one. It’s called The Broken.

The Broken isn’t a new movie. By that, I don’t mean that it’s not recent (2008). But I do mean it’s not a new idea, at all. (How many of them are?) In reality, you’ve probably already seen this movie in some form or other, but this one is a strange combination of a lot of movies. I like all of them, and the writing and action were well done in this version.

Continue reading