A genuinely involving and disconcerting chiller that thankfully eschews any trendy post-modernism
Having established his credentials as a serious genre fan with a spot-on homage to 80s horror movies in The House of the Devil, writer-director Ti West reaches even further back into the past with this slow-burning thriller.
Like all good haunted house flicks, The Innkeepers’ setting, the small-town New England Yankee Pedlar Inn, is a character in its own right. It’s also a real place, which West (who stayed there while making House of the Devil) imagines as a run-down motel with a haunted history. About to close its doors for good, the last two employees, a couple of slackers with an interest in the paranormal (Sara Paxton and Pat Healy), take the opportunity to indulge in some ghost-huntin'…
By allowing time for character development, the creation of atmosphere and building of suspense, and by eschewing gore and saving its big reveal until the end, West has delivered a genuinely involving and disconcerting chiller that’s closer than anything else to a decent 50s B-movie. And, happily, it’s free of the long since tiresome post-modernism recently rekindled by The Cabin in the Woods.
General release from Fri 8 Jun.