Monday, March 12, 2012

FILM REVIEW: "The Innkeepers"

You know when you've known somebody long enough to take their word for it when they say a director is good? Don't ever do that, because you get what happened to me when I went to see "The Innkeepers", directed by Ti West who a great deal of my friends were a fan of when he released "House of the Devil". I am not a fan of the typical horror film, because it's almost entirely about quick scares that don't really matter. Shame on me for thinking that "The Innkeepers" was something else, but it really wasn't. You should be able to tell that horror film is going to be bad when their opening titles have music that tells you overtly that it is indeed a horror film. In fact, they shouldn't even have titles.

All the titles serve to do is show you images of this hotel that isn't that haunting, and because of the music we're supposed to feel uneasy already. I didn't, but there were plenty of opportunities for me to continue to not feel trepidation about the film. Using a chapter format that doesn't really do all that much except offer an explanation for why nothing is happening, "The Innkeepers" follows two employees at an Inn that's going out of business. They're really there, however, to look into the paranormal phenomena that has everything to do with somebody who died in the hotel many years ago. I know. They're ghost hunters, but they're both really stupid, and the guy is clearly a phony.

You can tell exactly what's going to happen in this film well before it does, and because of that we get absolutely none of the tension that we should. Not that we would, because we don't care at all about the characters that come in. They all are just extremely stupid, not in terms of intelligent, but in how they were created. These aren't people who are the sum of experiences that led them to this point. They don't have any backstories, and as such they are just there for no purpose whatsoever. I suppose you could protest that they serve as proxy for the viewer, but we don't identify with them. We just hate them because of all the stupid decisions they make.

Truth be told, I was surprised and rather depressed to realize that this is an independently released film. It entirely feels like this film would be a big hit with the mainstream crowd, and I do say that with a general tone of anger towards mass culture. This doesn't deserve the entitlement that independent distribution gives a film. It's more "Goosebumps" than "Twilight Zone", and neither case is positive. Ultimately, I left the theater deeply disappointed in what people I call friends call quality cinema. What makes it even worst in my mind is the trailer, which I saw in hindsight of the film. The few atmosphere building scares are completely decimated by the trailer, and the rest is done by the overbearing score by Jeff Grace and the obvious cinematography by Eliot Rockett.

1 comment:

  1. You should've seen House of the devil, it would've told you all you needed about this movie and kept you away from it.