There are compelling reasons why, when traveling, one should skip the chain lodgings and stay at one of America’s classic hotels. There’s the friendly and courteous staff, the opportunity to experience a true piece of Americana, and the chance that you’ll encounter a spectral manifestation that wants to rip your immortal soul from your still-screaming body. (Disadvantage: no wi-fi.) In THE INNKEEPERS, a pair of slackers (Sarah Paxton and Pat Healy) are put in charge of an aging hotel in its last days and — when not attending to the needs of such guests as Kelly McGillis as a sympathetic psychic and George Riddle as Quiet Creepy Guy — decide to play GHOST HUNTERS by investigating the myriad tales of hauntings that the institution has acquired. To quote a classic, American aphorism: “Big mistake.”
With films such as THE ROOST and THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, director Ti West has managed to deliver old-school, atmospheric chills on a limited budget, and he’s pulled the same feat off with THE INNKEEPERS, creating a ghost tale that’s both witty and scary, with a valuable lesson for us all (i.e. continental breakfast shouldn’t be the only consideration when choosing a hotel). Click on the player to hear my interview with him.
The balmy days of February have triggered an uncommon sense of renewal, nowhere more so than in the cinema, where, after a customarily dismal January (we’re looking at you, THE DEVIL INSIDE), there now come glimmers of hope in the entertaining and atmospheric THE WOMAN IN BLACK. Featuring a post-Potter Daniel Radcliffe as an emotionally ravaged lawyer trying to redeem his career in the British countryside, instead discovering a village where children spontaneously take their lives and an isolated mansion houses a malign spirit and a terrible secret, the film’s a refreshing invocation of the classic ghost story, all the better for coming from British horror-home Hammer. beabetterbooktalker.com‘s Andrea Lipinski joins Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons to stir up the spirits and measure the film’s ability to generate scares and creeps. Plus: The gang delivers capsule reviews of CHRONICLE, THE INNKEEPERS, and KILL LIST. Also: What’s coming in theaters and home video.
According to Shock ‘Til You Drop Sara Paxton (THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, HAUNTED LIGHTHOUSE) has signed on for Ti West’s (THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL) new horror film, THE INKEEPERS. She’ll be joining a cast which already includes Kelly McGillis, George Ridley and Pat Healy.
THE INKEEPERS will follow the last two employees of an apparently haunted hotel, who are preparing to shut it down after the place has been open for more than 100 years. As time ticks down to the final days of operation, mysterious guests check in including a former TV actress turned psychic and an elderly man insistent on staying in room 353. As several strange occurrences begin to add up, both Claire and Luke must make the crucial decision on what to believe and what not to believe.
Ti West’s previous film, THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, was a slow burning throw-back to the horror films of the 70s so anything from the same director is definitely one to watch. Interestingly, THE INKEEPERS is based on West’s time at the Inn while he was shooting THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL.
West begins shooting THE INKEEPERS this week in Connecticut.