Review: The Innkeepers (18) / Director: Ti West / Screenplay: Ti West / Starring: Sara Paxton, Pat Healey, Kelly McGillis / Release date: June 25th
From Ti West, the director of the entertaining 2009 flick House of the Devil comes another "slow burner", this time set in a haunted hotel.
It's the last weekend for The Yankee Pedlar, and the hotel's only employees left on duty Claire (Sara Paxton) and Tintin-quiffed Luke (Pat Healey) decide this is their last chance to find any evidence of the alleged ghost that haunts the hotel. Luke is working on a website about the supposedly haunted hotel and spinning Claire stories of seeing the ghost of Madeline O'Malley, who hung herself in the hotel after being stood up on her wedding day, and hyped up, Claire is keen to get started on the ghost hunt, especially since there are so few guests staying.
One guest is a faded TV Star Leanne Rease Jones (a virtually unrecognisable Kelly McGillis) who has a 'gift' with premonitions and talks at psychic healing conventions. After being initially star struck, Claire begins to get to know Lea over the course of the nights.
After Claire hears piano playing and other noises in the pair's EVP recording device, she begins to become disturbed and wakes with a nightmarish vision.
Leanne tries to help with her crystal pendulum, but is horrified by what she feels, and warns her not to continue her search and to get out of the hotel.
The film plays almost like Clerks in a hotel, with the two main characters riffing on each other (without being as laugh out loud funny and dirty, of course), however the two leads are not your stereotypical slackers, and are very likeable and well acted. The brooding shots down the New England hotel corridors give it a brilliant eerie Shining feel. The slow burn approach West has become known for works really well, and sends you right back to the good old days of horror cinema where mood and atmosphere are more important than shock and gore and lead up to a frantic finale and a devastating epilogue.
We wouldn't recommend watching the trailer first though, as it contains almost all of the 'jumps'!