“The Innkeepers”- an Adam Schirling review
***Warning, 2 Spoiler Alerts:
1) I am going to tell you how this crapfest ends
2) If you ever saw Top Gun and wanted to bang Kelly McGillis do not watch this movie
The other day while in the local Stop-n-Shop picking up groceries, my old lady and I decided to peruse the Red Box for any possible good movies to check out. For my British or Aussie friends who may not be in the know, the Red Box is a giant dvd rental vending machine where you can rent an assortment of new releases or older titles for 1 buck a day. So, once more, I feel that the $1 rental fee makes all titles subject to possible review by the esteemed ISCFC.
The Innkeepers popped up on the first screen in ‘Horror’….Creepy DVD cover art? Check. Haunted New England hotel? Always cool. And, wait…Kelly McGillis???!!!???!! Maverick’s girl toy from Top Gun? No fucking way! I had to have this movie on my screen immediately. As soon as dinner was over and drinks were poured, I popped it in, surrounded by my old lady, my lil sis, and good friend & DA artist Tom Butts.
Very quickly you could see the influence the director had from movies like Poltergeist. It was quickly established that this was a ‘creepy hotel’, all the pre-requisites were present. Last weekend open, owner in Barbados, two barely competent employees left to run the joint, strange guests checking in…….All the plot points were filling in nicely. Dread was building. Stories of supposed ghosts were told. A couple cheesy bullshit ‘boo’ scenes were even forgivable, as you could see the point, a young director trying to break up plot building with slight comedy to keep you guessing. I am fucking saying, friends that I was on board with it all at first.
My biggest complaint with the torture porn films of the mid 2000s was the lack of buildup. There were no subtle nuances; they just threw the gore in your face until you couldn’t take it anymore. So I was pleased to see a film take its time, establish some characters (as flat and cliché as they all were), and make a backstory. But then……we kept waiting….and waiting….and waiting……
Kelly McGillis shows up as a failed actress (HA!) and drunk who is in town for a ‘psychic medium conference’….I have no doubt that such conferences exist, but what were the chances of this old bitch staying at the one haunted hotel on its last weekend? OH, Kelly….For those of you with fond remembrance of the spunky blonde from Top Gun; the brilliant Intel specialist with a thing for renegade pilots: You Shall Be Disappointed. She has been replaced with a frumpy old butch haired lesbian with zero acting ability. In this film she portrays the ‘old psychic’ role poorly, offering only the fucking cliché advice “stay out of the basement!!!!”…Listen fuckers, I live in a 100 year old house in New England, and I fucking know to not be hanging out in the goddamn basement for no reason. And to insult our intelligence even more: the clerk in question that warning was directed to keeps going in the fucking basement!!!If you find yourself in a creepy house, and a psychic tells you to stay the hell out of the basement, just fucking do it.
So, we have more buildup, and more buildup, and more buildup…..It becomes obvious that the scene is being set for a big giant evil showdown in the damn basement. The female clerk in question (played by Sara Paxton, who did a stand up job in the Last House on the Left remake) figures out this bad shit is going to go down asap, and escaping it is literally as easy as walking out the front door of the small hotel in the middle of a quaint Connecticut downtown street (this was NOT the goddamn Overlook stuck high up in the mountains of Colorado, escaping literally would require walking about 25 ft.) but still she hangs out….and keeps going in the fucking basement…
NOW FINALLY, YES! She is trapped in the basement, something is chasing her. She runs into the small basement closet (that’s always the right choice, trapping yourself) and lo and behold the slow moving cliché ‘dead bride’ ghost appears and we get a fucking ‘fade to black’….motherfucker!!! ANOTHER FUCKING SOPRANOS ENDING!!!
Not entirely, as the scene opens the next morning to her dead body being brought out on a stretcher, and her fellow incompetent employee giving the ole’ “I can’t believe it” statement to the cops, all the while Kelly Mcgills stares out the window sadly, no doubt starting to second guess her tactic of just warning people to stay out the basement….As the scene fades out we get a glimpse of a room of the hotel, with a very quick slight shot of a shadowy ghost of Sara Paxton in the room before the door slams and credits roll.
Almost 2 fucking hours of plot building and dumbass clichés just to keep you hoping for a big crazy Poltergeist type payoff in the form of the house literally shitting itself with demons and ghosts, but nope, we get a hipster getting stuck in the basement and the slow ghost bride eating her, or stabbing her, or who fucking knows what.
People, just listen to your ole Uncle Adam and Aunt Kelly McGillis and stay out of the fucking basement.