Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Innkeepers (2011)

Holy wild hogs Batman, that was a bore!

Seriously though folks, Ti West has been talked about so widely for the last few years as being a genius director or the best director in horror or any other positive you can come up with. He's heralded as the next great horror director to put it simply. His latest effort THE INNKEEPERS is an underwhelming bit of rehashed crap.

During the final days of the century old Yankee Pedlar Inn two young employees attempt to prove the haunted nature of the building that dates back to it's dark past. Claire (Sarah Paxton) is an awkwardly cute, pretty nerdy front desk worker who has to spend the last weekend of the inn's life with her co-worker and friend Luke (Pat Healy). Together they hope their amateur paranormal hunting skills can prove that the inn is haunted by Madeline O'Malley, the wife of a former owner who supposedly killed herself after being stood up on an important night. The duo deals with a creepy old building filled with history and a few unique guests who have planned stays on the final weekend for various personal reasons.

I can't waste any time... this is essentially the same movie as Ti West's HOUSE OF THE DEVIL but with a slightly different climax. It is essentially a young girl walking around a creepy old building trying to find out what's wrong with it while hearing noises and seeing things for a good portion of the duration. The cast does a fine job, Paxton is convincing in her reactions to the main scares and situations and her co-star Pat Healy plays well off of her. The cast is no problem, and Ti West's direction has never been a problem in my opinion. The young director can handle a scene just fine. West knows how to put a movie together. The problem lies within the writing. THE INNKEEPERS is your run of the mill ghost story. It is a slow burn but without the pay off of better ghost films so it is just a chore to sit through. It is easily 50 minutes into the film before anything of any significance happens. When something does happen, it is generic and bland and just doesn't send shivers down your spine or goosebumps up your arm like a good ghost story should. It's rough when you realize the entire movie will be this predictable when the first scare of the movie is a fake one that anyone with a computer in the last 10 years will see coming from miles away.

Believe me, I respect Ti West as a director, he has no problem handling a film and making it flow and work. I just don't buy his work until he gets a screenwriter that gives him a script where something fucking happens. I don't care how well he can film a girl walking up and down a flight of stairs for 100 minutes when that is the bulk of the film. A little originality could have carried THE INNKEEPERS a long way but it played out like so many other generic haunting stories that it's painful. Ti West is able to direct just fine but until he works with a separate writer I just don't know if he'll ever meet his true potential.


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