[REC] 3: GENESIS, the third installment of the Spanish zombie franchise, distinguishes itself in several ways: It’s the first to move the location away from the building of the first two films, cleverly choosing a wedding reception as the site for its carnage; the narrative takes a decisively more humorous tone; and the director, Paco Plaza, has decided after the opening few minutes to abandon the found-footage format that was the primary calling-card for the series. It also distinguishes itself by being close to indistinguishable, an enjoyable-but-not-particularly-groundbreaking exercise in walking dead chills for fans of the genre. Which leads to a bit of a problem for the Cinefantastique Online crew, whose mandate to analyze what makes a film unique gets sorely tested.
So after Steve Biodrowski and Dan Persons make quick work of [REC] 3, Dan weighs in on the definitely unique indie found-footage horror film, V/H/S, and Lawrence French gives his opinion of the upcoming documentary, RAY HARRYHAUSEN: SPECIAL EFFECTS TITAN. Plus: What’s coming to theaters and Southern California Halloween haunts.
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.
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.