Film: The Innkeepers
Director: Ti West
Writer: Ti West
Starring: Sara Paxton, Pat Healy and Kelly McGillis
This film takes place in the Yankee Pedlar Inn. They are going out of business and the owner is away on vacation. The place is being run by two employees, who are played by Sara Paxton and Pat Healy. The inn is supposed to be haunted and both of these two are amateur ghost hunters. They want to get some sort of proof before the place is leveled.
Both of them will be staying at the inn this final weekend along with a couple other guests. One of them is a woman with her son, who seems to always have a problem with Paxton and has a disagreement with Healy as well. The mother is played by Alison Bartlett and the son by Jake Ryan. There also is a famous actress who is older now, who is played by Kelly McGillis. Paxton is a huge fan of hers and the woman is in town to talk at an actor’s convention. McGillis needs towels and Paxton brings them to her. McGillis asks about her and ends up making Paxton feel stupid because she doesn’t have a plan for her life.
There are some mildly strange things that happen, like bumping heard in the front room and a piano mysterious playing on its own. Doors close by themselves and we learn the legend of the inn. There was a woman who stayed there that killed herself. She was stood up on her wedding day and hung herself in the honeymoon suite on the third floor. The original owners didn’t want to lose business, so they hid her body in the cellar. They are found out and forced to give up their place because of it.
Paxton begins to see and hear the weird things. Healy blows off most it and doesn’t act like he cares. He is concerned about Paxton and tries to calm her down. We also learn that McGillis is in town for a much different reason. The inn also gets another guest in the form of an older man. Paxton is slowly more freaked out and wants to find proof.
Will the two get the proof they want? What will happen with this spirit that seems to haunt the place?
I didn’t like this film the first time I saw it. I’m starting to think that it might have been influenced by the person I saw it with, but this second time around, I liked it much more. This film is a slow burn for sure. Upon my second viewing, this film gives you a lot to piece the story together, so I would recommend paying attention to things they show you, even things that don’t seem important. This film slowly builds the tension to the climax and I liked how it played out. This film was written and directed by Ti West, so if you’ve seen anything by him, you definitely can tell he did this one. The other aspect I really liked about the story, the only person who sees the ghost is Paxton. Healy claims he has and McGillis seems to communicate with it. I bring this up, because it makes you wonder if there really is a ghost here or if this is what Paxton seeing things and McGillis as a psychic playing on her fears. I enjoyed how this film ends as well.
For the acting in this film, I am a big fan of Paxton and she looks good in this film. I also really liked seeing her as the haunting goes on, how she descends into fear that drives her crazy. I’m a big fan of this in film and I think Paxton does great portraying this. I actually also liked Healy. I loved seeing the banter with Paxton in the film. I also really liked that he has a crush on her and tries to tell her, but she is too amped to get to the bottom of the haunting. McGillis was solid in the role that she played as well. I thought the supporting cast helps round out the film.
Next I will talk about the effects of the film. Most of them looked to be practical to me and I thought they looked good. The ghost of Madeline O’Malley looked good and she was played by Brenda Cooney. She was quite creepy when used. The old man also is done up at one point. He is played by George Riddle and looks scary during the climax. The editing of the film is slow, but this is a film that is building on that. I thought it does well in this category. The score of the film is solid as well. It builds the tension during the scenes that need it.
Now with that said, after my second viewing of this film I would definitely recommend this film. This is a slow-burn haunted house film. What also makes it great is that it can be read that the house isn’t haunted, because the only person who sees anything is Paxton and McGillis claims she can feel the presence. I like how the film ends, but I will warn you, the payoff isn’t as great as some other West films. The acting in this film is solid. The effects are as well. The editing is intentional slow and should be expected from West. I also thought the score helps to set the mood and builds tension. I feel this is an above average film. If you are fan of the genre, I’d definitely give this a viewing.
My Rating: 7 out of 10