Ti West’s The Innkeepers is a unique spin on the ghost story. It follows the last open weekend of a small New England inn, and the two twenty-something slackers that work there. What follows is a slow, deliberate ghost story.
- It’s not a Paranormal Activity movie, and there is a complete absence of shaky cam.
- The two leads, Sara Paxton and Pat Healy are very believable and ground the story. I rarely see performances this strong in smaller movies, and they sold it.
- It made a tired genre feel fresh, and it was free of any overt homage that filmmakers feel obliged to force into most modern horror films. Ti West honored what came before by making a solid, atmospheric flick, not just referencing movies we’ve seen a hundred times.
- For a modern audience the film might play a little slow. There aren’t a lot of quick cuts and there is very little blood or on screen violence.
- Top Gun’s Kelly McGillis did not age gracefully.
The Innkeepers was my favorite genre movie of 2011, and I think anyone that appreciates strong characterization and subtle, well earned scares will have a blast. If you like faux documentaries or gallons of blood, you should probably stay far away.