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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: May 2: The Innkeepers


May 2: The Innkeepers

"During the final days at the Yankee Pedlar Inn, two employees determined to reveal the hotel's haunted past begin to experience disturbing events as old guests check in for a stay."

The Innkeepers is not for everyone. It's a slow burning horror film that chugs along at a snail's pace, only to have a rather exciting (although quick) finale. Ti West, the director, who also made the incredible The House of the Devil, is surely becoming a new face in the horror genre and even gaining ground as a master of suspense building. He's a huge fan of the genre and everything horror and you can see in his work countless homages and references to the films of the 70s and 80s. The Innkeepers is well-crafted and filmed. Even if you don't appreciate or like the slow buildup to the finale, you can admire how well it's made. 

The hotel the film is set in is its own character, adding an eerie atmosphere to the entire thing

The best part of The Innkeepers is that it's aware of what it is. It avoids the jump-out and scare you moments that ruin so many movies made today, and instead focuses on the characters at hand. The film follows Claire (Sara Paxton) and Luke (Pat Healy), two employees of the Yankee Pedlar Inn who attempt to discover the ghosts said to haunt the building before the owner shuts it down. For most of the film, we see the two's friendship unfold, and really grow to like the two. As the mystery of the supposed hauntings begin to unfold towards the end of the film, we have spent enough time with the two that we worry when they are put in danger. The acting isn't terrific, but it's good, and effective enough to warrant our sympathy. 

Even when they go down into the basement when you know that's a f**king stupid thing to do. 

I would definitely recommend The Innkeepers. It would be a great double feature when paired with West's other film, The House of the Devil, because both are very similar in their styles and setting. It's a great rainy day movie and while it may not be the most terrifying, it does leave you a little unsettled. The film has excellent camerawork, an eerie setting, and a solid cast. If West continues to make films like The Innkeepers, one can hope that, years from now, we can look back on his career like we can of John Carpenter or Dario Argento, two masters of horror. 

The Good:
a setting that actually looks and feels haunted with the right camerawork to capture it all 
The Bad:
an ending that happens too quickly when you want to see so much more
The Ugly:
a final shot that makes you afraid to watch the screen because you don't know what might happen (it's ugly because it's nerve-wracking)

Overall: 7.8/10

Best Quote:
Luke: I don't know a lot, but I do know a little bit about a lot of things.


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