What He said:
It was very shocking to me, but prior to seeing it, I had
legitimately never heard of this movie before. I guess in
some ways it shouldn’t be a surprise, Sara Paxton and Kelly
McGillis aren’t exactly top billing names. A little
research showed me that this film only had a limited release.
The Innkeepers tells the story of Claire and Luke, two
employees at the Yankee Pedlar Inn, located somewhere in New
England. The inn is well-known as being haunted, but that
hasn’t really helped to attract visitors, as it’s absolutely
desolate. In fact, the place is shutting down, and as the
movie opens, the viewer is told that the Inn is in its final
weekend and Claire and Luke are sleeping there as a skeleton
staff. The third floor of the building has already been
cleaned, removed of furniture, and closed down. Any
inhabitants must stay on the second floor. And there really
are only three paying customers—a woman and her son, a mysterious
old man who pays in cash, and Leanne Rease-Jones, an aging actress
turned psychic. Luke has a particular fascination with the
much fabled haunting of the building by the ghost of Madeline
O’Malley, and Claire agrees to help him document any happenings in
the place. They have some sort of sophisticated audio
equipment to capture communications with. For the most part,
the story follows Claire as she begins to document her encounters,
and the ghost(s) certainly don’t seem happy.
Sara Paxton plays the role of Claire, who is sort of your
average late teens/early 20s nobody. She’s recently dropped
out of college, and doesn’t seem sure what she wants to do with
herself. What’s amazing about this movie is how well Paxton
embodies the character. Her mannerisms make Claire
unbelievably real. Likewise, Pat Healy does the same with
the character of Luke. Leanne plays a role in progressing the
storyline, but you could really take her or leave her. I
actually don’t think she’s entirely necessary, and Kelly McGillis
doesn’t bring much to the table.
Overall, the movie is very interesting, but only a few times
actually scary. The times when it is scary, it’ll definitely
freak you out and make your skin crawl a bit. But it takes a
while to get there. There’s a lot of build-up.
Fortunately, that’s filled with good acting and some enjoyable
humor. Some may complain that the movie isn’t scary enough,
or that it takes too long to get to the point. I, for the
most part, really enjoyed the flick. It’s probably been done
before, but the filmmaking style made this feel pretty fresh to
me. If you can find this for a rental, give it a shot.
Especially around Halloween or late at night.
What He said:
When we watched this movie it was one of those situations where
you didn’t plan on watching the whole thing, but got sucked in and
ended up sticking with it. It’s not that we thought it looked bad,
but we were planning on watching the most recent episode of
Once Upon a Time and killing time. Well this movie ended up
grabbing our attention and we decided to skip the first 20 or 30
minutes of OUAT.
The Innkeepers is about two employees at the Yankee
Peddler Inn, a once-thriving hotel that is about to close
permanently. Claire (Sara Paxton) and Luke (Pat Healy) are also
avid ghost hunters who are fascinated by the hotel’s history.
Legend has it that a woman named Madeline O’Malley hung herself
after her husband left her on the night of their honeymoon. It’s
also rumored that the previous owners of the hotel hid her body in
the basement out of fear for what it would do to the business. The
two of them run a website dedicated to the hotel’s history and
supposed sightings they’ve recorded.
The hotel is in its last weekend and almost completely empty.
There is a woman and her child staying there. They seem to have
been displaced from their home and have been taking up residence
here in the meantime. There’s also a couple of new guests on the
last few nights. Leann (Kelly McGillis) is a former actress who is
in town for a convention. Claire was a fan of her as a kid and is a
little taken with her. The other guest is an elderly
gentleman who shows up for a one night stay; the last night the inn
This is one of those movies that is a tough review, because I
feel if I say too much I could be giving something away. This movie
has a very specific pace. It is crafted in a way that is meant to
give you just enough to keep you interested, but string you along
until the final conclusion. Some might find that approach boring, I
did not. I found it to be a productive way of having the story
unfold before the viewer’s eyes. I also think it helped that
characters seemed like very real people. I actually felt like I was
watching the day in the life of these people. It worked on many
levels, one of which was the humor. I thought this movie was
surprisingly amusing. Sarah Paxton in particular, was quite funny.
She portrayed this normal, everyday kid in a very believable and
amusing way. It added a sense of realism to the movie and was part
of the reason I ended up watching the whole thing when I was only
really trying to kill some time.
Diagnosis: Thumbs up.
This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on
November 2, 2012.