REVIEW: The Innkeepers (2011)

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The Innkeepers: C

It’s a haunted hotel movie, but The Shining it ain’t.  To its credit, it doesn’t try for cheap, “gotcha” scares; it tries to earn them with silence and atmosphere.  To its detriment, it’s not fucking scary.  At all.  It’s not a bad film by any stretch, but there’s just not enough going on here to recommend it.

The Inkeepers centers around an old hotel, open for one last weekend.  Sara Paxton (who is fantastic in the far superior Last House on the Left remake) plays a hotel clerk.  This doofus she works with has a website which “documents” supernatural activities at the inn.  He’s got all that nonsense ghost-finding equipment, but he doesn’t really believe there’s anything supernatural going on until the chick records a piano playing a few notes by itself.

That’s about the extent of the horror.  Sure, there are some Shining-esque ghosts who’ve committed suicide and are unsettled and all that.  But there are virtually zero chills and no real plot twists.

Actually, the most horrifying aspect of this film is the appearance of Kelly McGillis as a psychic who stays in the inn.  She was an ‘80s icon, frenching with Tom Cruise in Top Gun and providing jerk-worthy footage to a young Dr. Loomis as an Amish mother seduced by Harrison Ford’s smoldering charm in Witness.  She’s unrecognizable here: a greying, flabby shell of her former hotness.  Suicidal ghosts have nothing on the ravages of Father Time.

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