Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Innkeepers

Filmed on location at The Yankee Pedler Inn (rumored to actually be haunted), this is an old fashioned ghost story done very effectively. Relying heavily on atmosphere with little to no violence or gore, the tension mounts leading from goose bumps to truly scary moments.

Director Ti West does a great job building the suspense and his cast do an excellent job selling the belief of spirits in the night. The film stars Sara Paxton as Claire and Pat Healy as Luke, the innkeepers of the title, who are keeping watch on the last remaining days of the inn before it closes for good. There are just a few guests remaining and one in particular, played by Kelly McGillis, plays an important role in what is to come.

Ms. Paxton and Mr. Healy don't seem to act as much as just play themselves and it's very effective as things get stranger as the film goes on. Everything appears very natural and Mr. West goes out of his way to keep things minimalistic so when the scares come, they are genuinely frightening.

There are a few stretches where nothing much happens but the payoff is worth the wait. With so many films violent and gory that pass as today's "horror" films, it's refreshing to see how a light touch can still scare the pants off you.

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