December 30, 2011
Sara Paxton as Claire
Pat Healy as Luke
Kelly McGillis as Leanne Rease-Jones
George Riddle as Old Man
The Innkeepers is about some Innkeepers, Claire (Sara Paxton) and Luke (Pat Healy). They are the skeleton crew watching over a bed and breakfast in the final days before the establishment closes for the season. This particular B&B markets heavily on the fact that it is reportedly haunted, and Luke spends much of his time filming doors closing by themselves and other oddities that transpire, when he isn’t watching Internet porn or checking in hot MILFs who are hiding from their husbands.
Although the visitors are light this time of year, they are not without eccentricities. There is a woman with her young child staying away from home to worry her cheating husband, an ageing movie star with a calling to spiritual communication and an old gentlemen yearning to stay in the room he shared with his new bride decades ago. There are also possibly real ghosts, and they seem to have a mission to communicate with young Claire – possibly to her doom.
The Innkeepers is pretty clearly low, possibly medium, budget. The money that was spent on this film went into outstanding production quality in the filming and sound as well as hiring first-rate talent. Sara Paxton and Kelly McGillis are outstanding in this film, with Ms. Paxton showing incredible promise that she merely hinted at in her role as the troubled teen in the CGI gorefestShark Night 3D.
The Innkeepers is “character-driven horror” in it’s purest form, as virtually nothing happens other than talking and activities by the primary characters who share deep insights to their inner workings and motivations. The script and performances are excellent and compelling and the performers chosen for each role are perfect. The only trouble is, as a horror movie, this can be a little bit boring.
The glimpses, and outright visages of ghosts are good throughout the film, but they are few and far between. Additionally, when the ghosts are seen they don’t really do anything other than briefly appear. This is fine in one sense as it is not necessary that monsters and ghosts steal the show if the characters are strong enough to carry the film, but ultimately in The Innkeepers it’s not enough. There is a primary theme of the film and the story is well done, but the heart-pumping elements are sparse enough with sufficient lag between that a highly emotional ride just never takes off. With the meat depicted in this film perhaps it should have been a short. Much of the discussion was just not necessary to tell the story.
Sara Paxton is a rising star, already with films like Last House on the Left and Shark Night 3D, as well as credits as a performer on a number of movie sound tracks, and at the young age of 23 she is just getting started. It’s hard to say if it will be a hindrance or a benefit, but her resemblance toLegally Blond Reese Witherspoon is undeniable. In The Innkeepers she is strong, but not quite strong enough to carry an entire film without a bit more ghost shenanigans.
Ultimately The Innkeepers is a good Indie film that is interesting, but won’t likely gain big momentum as the lack of real impact and the occasional bordering on “boring” condemns the film to ultimate forgetability.