The Innkeepers

Film Review by Alan Bett | 04 Jun 2012
  • The Innkeepers
Film title: The Innkeepers
Director: Ti West
Starring: Sara Paxton, Pat Healy, Kelly McGillis
Release date: 8 Jun
Certificate: 15

Our primal fear of haunted houses is fertile ground for the horror devotees, but it’s been well farmed over the years. Now director Ti West adds to the genre with his curious shocker The Innkeepers. A simple plot involves two employees tasked with overseeing a haunted hotel and its smattering of oddball guests. Their slacking off is interspersed with paranormal investigation into the inn’s dark legend. What elevates this above the average scary movie is that West seems more influenced by mumblecore than horror. We are served idle chit-chat and everyday mundanity, allowing the slow burn to almost extinguish. But each gesture chips away at character definition, making their later peril so much more troubling. The film channels ghosts of movies past, including The Legend of Hell House and Polanski’s The Tenant, however West’s film remains distinctive, if at times confusing and ambiguous. He twists expectations by remixing clichéd genre staples with genuine individuality. Fanboy bloodlust may not be sated here, but the patient will be rewarded. [Alan Bett]

Released 8 June by Metrodome