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4.0 out of 5 stars An attractive mix of horror and indie slacker films
The Innkeepers mixes indie charm with horror film through confident, sure-footed direction from Ti West and attractive performances from Sara Paxton Pat Healy and Kelly McGillis. The film embraces horror clichés, dropping them in and out of the story in a natural and sometimes light-hearted way. It also mixes the acting styles of Sara Paxton and Pat Healy on one...
Published 16 days ago by Nick King

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Only for fans of really sloooow moving horror
The Innkeepers' cover artwork is a little misleading (I haven't seen the trailer, so I can't comment on that). It shows a blooded hand ringing a bell, implying that this will be some sort of gore-fest. It isn't. It is however one of the slowest moving horror films ever. I use the term `horror' over supernatural because on the 2-3 parts of the film where it actually...
Published on 1 Feb. 2013 by Albatross


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Only for fans of really sloooow moving horror, 1 Feb. 2013
By 
Albatross "Never argue with idiots" (Suburbia) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Innkeepers [DVD] (DVD)
The Innkeepers' cover artwork is a little misleading (I haven't seen the trailer, so I can't comment on that). It shows a blooded hand ringing a bell, implying that this will be some sort of gore-fest. It isn't. It is however one of the slowest moving horror films ever. I use the term `horror' over supernatural because on the 2-3 parts of the film where it actually gets scary, the scenes would probably fit more with other, more mainstream popcorn horror films.

It's about two workers at an inn which is due to close in the next few days. The inn is supposedly haunted and they decide to try and prove the stories true before the building is finally shut for good.

Most of the film is character-building. The two youngsters play their parts well. They're endearing and easily-related to. The story progresses and the tension slowly mounts. Slowly. This is where the film could fall down for some. I've checked other reviews and it seems that people either love or hate the film. Some see it as not that much of a horror - more a slow-burning suspenseful ghost story, putting characters over gore. Others simply find it too slow to be scary and/or exciting.

I fall somewhere between the two. The characters and the way the actors portray them deserves credit and there is certainly an air of tension created. However, I would have liked a few more scares and a little more action somewhere along the way.

This film will find an audience, but whether you'll enjoy it will depend on how `fast-paced' you like your movies.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An attractive mix of horror and indie slacker films, 6 May 2015
This review is from: The Innkeepers [DVD] (DVD)
The Innkeepers mixes indie charm with horror film through confident, sure-footed direction from Ti West and attractive performances from Sara Paxton Pat Healy and Kelly McGillis. The film embraces horror clichés, dropping them in and out of the story in a natural and sometimes light-hearted way. It also mixes the acting styles of Sara Paxton and Pat Healy on one hand and Kelly McGillis on the other. See it for an intelligent and playful combining of genres that has fun with conventions yet still delivers genuine scares along the way.

The venerable Yankee Pedlar Inn is about to close for good and the last two employees, Clare and Luke, decide to do something productive over the Inn’s last weekend and look for the truth about the ghostly legend of Madeline O’ Malley, supposedly murdered at the Inn sometime in the remote past. Luke wants to jump on the paranormal bandwagon with a website about spectral activity at the Inn, Clare wants to because she really has nothing better to do.

Director Ti West directs a pared down movie of essentially a single location and just a few characters, and produces the classic horror film sensation that something in this place isn’t right. There’s a creepy, claustrophobic atmosphere throughout, leavened with some laugh out loud moments. This is the sort of film that knows mood and atmosphere are more important in a fright film than cgi.

Much of the film is taken up with the interplay of the two leads, Sara Paxton and Pat Healy. They make a good double-act. Their characters are on the same level and it’s easy to see them coming from the same background and working at the Yankee Pedlar for much the same reasons. Clare is bored and frustrated in that way people in their early twenties often are while Luke is a slightly older slacker, an intelligent low achiever who’s too insecure to reveal that his feelings for Clare might just be more than platonic. The other main actor in the Innkeepers is Kelly McGillis, playing Leanne Rees-Jones, an actress turned faith healer and mystic. With grey hair, no make-up and an alcohol problem Leanne is down to earth as well as up in the clouds. She is as articulate and focused in her beliefs as Luke and Clare are not and she provides the film with a sharp contrast to them with her brusque manner and world-weariness.
Watching her act next to Sara Paxton and Pat Healy is also to watch a real contrast in styles. McGillis is precise and quite tight in her movements and speech as opposed to the naturalistic chat and looser movement of Healey and Paxton. Kelly McGillis has real screen presence, in the scene where she lays out her spiritual beliefs to Clare and encourages her to contact the spirits in the hotel she holds the attention by speaking with authority, the voice of experience pushing Clare forward. She reveals to Clare that there are three spirits at the Inn, Madeline O’Malley and two others. Later in the film she also reveals that her mystic gifts include seeing or sensing things that have not yet occurred. It is easy to miss a connection between these two revelations: the other two spirits have not yet arrived or perhaps are not yet spirits. We find out the truth before the end, in the film’s most frightening scene, executed perfectly and developed out of one of the horror genres most familiar clichés.

Mixing up genres is best achieved through playfulness. Director Ti West moves between humour, horror, and indie character study effortlessly, through the light touch of the actors to sudden spooky camera positions such as the one from low down on the basement stairs when Clare and Luke go to hold a séance. The séance is really creepy, the flashlights lighting their faces from below, the light on Pat Healy’s face is particularly scary with the shadows from his glasses giving him what look like horrible black streaks across his face; this, and his terrified look, builds up the tension really quickly until he suddenly panics and flees the hotel, leaving Clare to run to Leanne for answers so initiating the final act.

One more horror character arrives late on: the deathly visitor. In this case an old man turns up for one last night at the hotel where he spent his honeymoon and it’s immediately clear that this will be his last night on earth. He represents the arrival of death at the Inn but he also plays a role in the plot. He is the second of the three spirits Leanne earlier revealed to Clare.

In any horror film when one character says to another “Don’t move, stay where you are, I’ll be back in a minute” it is guaranteed that that character will not stay where they are, and neither does Clare. They will hear a noise at the far end of a dark alley or corridor and will go off to investigate and never be seen alive again, and so does Clare. This is a great horror film cliché and using it here works not just as a plot device but also as a stylistic choice that suggests Clare is now part of something pre-ordained, that classic horror film feeling that a character is being manipulated by something dark and malevolent.

Clare’s final scene is truly frightening. From her slow walk along the corridor and her hesitancy at the top of the basement stairs the camera is still, making the scene slow and tense. The appearance of the old man’s spirit behind her sends her falling down in an unexpected release of action that speeds up as she is chased along the dark corridors of the basement by the phantom until she reaches the end of her journey where, hysterical and terrified, trapped and confronted by the ghost of Madeline O’Malley, Clare becomes the third spirit of the Yankee Pedlar Inn.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Idiosyncratically Ti West and a world away from the mainstream of horror, 8 Nov. 2012
By 
Rob Simpson "noframeof" (Middlesbrough, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Innkeepers [DVD] (DVD)
The Innkeepers delivers perfectly on a human level. Whether Paxton and Healy are talking about the terrible customers and unbeknownst to them, the creepy harbingers of doom who occupy the second and third act, it all builds up to a crescendo. All these convergent threads make the innkeepers the antithesis to poorly scripted genre films the world over. The only saggy scene is when Claire (Paxton) goes out of the hotel and down the road to the coffee shop where Lena `everyone's least favourite mumblecore patron' Dunham works.

The mixed reception expresses this point perfectly; this is not a film for everyone. The Innkeepers is hard to digest, slow and lacking in the explicit allures of the genre. However at the same time, West is calling back to the period of classic cinema when horror wasn't just about the visceral immediate reaction, it was about something that lingered in the memory long after the closing credits. It was about people.

Ti West's Innkeepers is the antidote to the modern horror film to the point where I wouldn't really call it a horror film. Like all the best genre films, it's not the jumps or the scares that make these pictures stand the test of time. On the contrary it's the drama, the characters and the development and thanks to a witty script of brilliant tension, interaction and tragedy together with the fantastic low-key performances from Sara Paxton and Pat Healy. The Innkeepers is the antithesis to poorly scripted genre films the world over.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inn keeping with the current vogue for haunted house movies, 19 Oct. 2012
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This review is from: The Innkeepers [DVD] (DVD)
I actually really enjoyed this film; it's true that for long swathes of time very little happens, however Sara Paxton and Pat Healy excel as a pair of amateur ghost-hunters whose relationship is decidedly off-kilter, with Healy's bookish Luke almost professing his love (or perhaps just lust) for his lissome companion.
Director Ti West does very well with very little, and there are a handful-of scalp-prickling moments that may be derided by horror-movie afficionados but certainly worked on me!
I agree that the ending is a bit pat, however it did leave me with a fair few questions, and I think the film would bear repeated viewings.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars takes a long time to dish up the genre clichés, 12 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: The Innkeepers [DVD] (DVD)
In this film two hotel workers spend their spare time investigating an old legend of a supposed haunting at the establishment where they work. Gradually they start to get signs that indicate they may indeed not be alone...

I find the hype surrounding this film quite mystifying. Although promising at the beginning with two central characters that don't seem initially to fit regular horror protagonists, they soon seem to dissolve into stupid fools doing illogical things that no real person would ever do, just to advance the increasingly lazy plot. I assume the extremely slow pace was an attempt to build a degree of tension, but I didn't find that was effective at all. It takes an age for not very much to happen and when it does I found myself expecting a lot more than what was offered. It is not that I have an attention span issue but for all the build up over the first hour of the film, the few fairly tame jumps do not pay off the amount of time you sit around waiting for something solid.
The two main actors are perfectly fine, but in the last third they start to do the moronic things that are a chronic problem in this kind of genre film - like glaring down into a dark basement and then continuing to go and have a look. When you have a capable cast, making them do stupid things like this is so frustrating as it undoes all the work up to that point and leaves them looking like the idiotic teens in a bad Friday 13th sequel.

The Innkeepers promised a lot, but is totally ruined by taking a long time to deliver virtually nothing. If you want a creepy hotel film, I would recommend watching The Shining instead.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wake me up when something happens!, 29 May 2014
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This review is from: The Innkeepers [DVD] (DVD)
Very slow..tedious and darn right boring,glad i only spent £3.00 on this. Don't waste your cash. Two stars,because they really tried to make this work. Sorry,not for me.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly enjoyable budget thriller, 24 Oct. 2014
By 
Amazon Customer (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Innkeepers [DVD] (DVD)
I knew that 'The Innkeepers' had received very mixed reviews, but I decided to bite the bullet at give it a go, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The budget restraints are there, but that doesn't matter. Based in an apparently haunted-in-the-past Inn, two of it's employees begin to carry out some amateur ghost hunting. Meanwhile, there are some mysterious characters booking into the Inn, which is soon to be closing it's doors for good.

This one runs at a very slow, but completely satisfying pace, allowing for plenty of character development between the two leads (Sara Paxton and Pat Healy), who have a rather charming friendship despite their difference in age.

If your looking for a film with lots of guts and gore, I'd stay clear from this one. However, if you want an intriguing, slow burning story with some excellent, completely realistic characters, and a good deal of humour throughout, you should check into 'The Innkeepers'. It's isn't as scary as the DVD art would led you to believe, but it held my interest from being to end, with a satisfying ending to wrap things up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wot a load of rubbish, 10 Feb. 2014
This review is from: The Innkeepers [DVD] (DVD)
Terrible acting no story line not scarey at all and I normally scared at everything don't waste your money very low budget
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No suspense or scares, 2 July 2013
This review is from: The Innkeepers [DVD] (DVD)
I really liked Ti West's directorial style on The House Of The Devil so decided to give this haunted hotel film a go and I have to say it was a disappointment. It tells the story of two hotel workers and a very limited amount of guests, including a mother and child that have no impact on the story. The film feels far too long and the two leading cast members are not likable despite over long character development. The lead cast member (Sara Paxton) acting is woeful. When these sort of films are done well they are tense and frightening with lots of suspense and scares (The Innocents, The Others, The Uninvited), but this film is plain boring with no suspense or jumpy moments, a sad let down.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A 'slacker' ghost story that's just too slack, 14 Feb. 2015
This review is from: The Innkeepers [DVD] (DVD)
As a rule, I like horror films to start slowly. That forty minutes devoted to establishing the characters, location, mood and theme is time well spent. So I had no issue with the fact that nothing much happens in the first half of The Innkeepers. The problem is, it's the wrong sort of nothing much happening. The film spends a long, long, long, long — I mean, really long — time trying to establish an indie/slacker sort of vibe, centering on two bored hotel clerks frittering away the hours behind the front desk. Unfortunately the viewer just ends up as bored as them.

These two clerks are rather stale characters, and neither Pat Healy nor Sara Paxton, who play them, are particularly convincing. Paxton is bobbypin cute, but she never seems to forget that the camera is on her. There is something stilted about her performance. This is particularly noticeable when she shares a scene with Lena Dunham. Like her or not, Dunham can act the pants off many of her contemporaries, even with her pants on.

Then there are strange, lumpish scenes with Kelly McGillis, a pointless subplot about another of the hotel guests, and various other little scenes that legally should not exist at all. One of these, using up an entire minute of screen time, involves Paxton taking out the trash. Not even Tarantino could make that interesting.

Finally we get to the creepy stuff, and there are some good scares. But they are the same scares we’ve seen in fifty other haunted house movies — a ghostly piano playing, ghostly faces appearing out of the darkness, dead people popping up behind you, that sort of thing. I must admit, the climax is pretty frightening. It’s effective enough to make you wish there was a more coherent film leading up to it.
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The Innkeepers [Blu-ray]
The Innkeepers [Blu-ray] by Ti West (Blu-ray - 2012)
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