The Innkeepers (2011) Review for Halloween Horror Fest

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The Innkeepers (2011)

Directed by Ti West

Starring:
Sara Paxton
Pat Healy
Kelly McGillis
Alison Bartlett
Jake Ryan
Lena Dunham
George Riddle
Brenda Cooney
John Speredakos

Running time: 101 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Claire (Sara Paxton) and Luke (Pat Healy) are two young employees at the Yankee Pedlar Inn, a once-grand hotel that is about to close. Claire and Luke are the only employees working during its final weekend of operation. Both are ghost hunting enthusiasts and are fascinated by the hotel’s supposedly haunted history, which includes the legend of Madeline O’Malley, a bride who hung herself in the 1800s when her husband abandoned her on their honeymoon, and whose body was supposedly hidden in the basement by the hotel owners.
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As I’m so far behind on my reviews for Halloween Horror Fest, I’ll keep this one short. I say that a lot but I mean it this time. πŸ˜‰

In the middle of watching this, I actually paused to look it up at The IPC to see if Eric had reviewed it. Yep! And he liked it. Yay! You can read his review HERE.
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This really is one of those films that you’ll like or you’ll hate. I’ve seen enough reviews here now to know that people are divided on this one. Count me as one of the people who liked it.
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If you like the slightly more old school movies about hauntings, you may like The Innkeepers. If you don’t mind a movie that (very) slowly builds up to the finale and doesn’t have loads of in-your-face predictable jump scares or gore, you may like The Innkeepers. If you like the likes of Saw, etc, you may not like The Innkeepers.
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My all-time favorite horror movie (Or maybe second favorite – it’s close. I’ll know when I do the list of my top ten horror films soon!) is The Shining. I’m not one to get scared by a movie but The Shining is genuinely creepy. The Overlook Hotel itself is probably the creepiest thing about the film. The Yankee Pedlar Inn, while not as creepy as The Overlook, is still not a place where I’d want to spend the night. There are loads of old hotels like this in England and I had the bright idea to stay in one once. Dumb idea! I didn’t sleep a wink. Plus there was a door/hatch/whatever in the ceiling RIGHT above the bed. I stared at that thing all night thinking I’d see some red eyes peering out at me or something. So, yeah – a “haunted inn” movie is the type of movie for someone like me. It won’t be for everyone.
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When it comes to horror movies, the one thing I can’t stand more than excessive and unnecessary gore is annoying & unlikeable characters who do stupid things. I can handle a bit of blood and there’s a bit at the end of The Innkeepers but nothing bad and not something I couldn’t watch.

Although the character of Luke is somewhat annoying, I found Claire very likeable. She’s sweet, naive, and a little dorky. She reminds me a little of me when I was young and used to actually still be sweet. Okay – you may say she “does some stupid things” but nothing I can’t forgive. I know what I’m like – although I’d be scared shitless working in a “haunted inn”, I know I’d go exploring things and trying to see the ghost. Because I’m an idiot. But then I’d shit myself and run away screaming like Claire does if I actually saw anything. (She doesn’t literally shit herself. Me neither). Claire feels like a “real” person and I like that – it makes it easier to buy into a movie when you can relate to at least one of the characters.

I also liked Kelly McGillis in the role of the retired actress turned psychic staying at the hotel and whom Claire turns to for help (Did I use “whom” correctly there? Always confused by that one!). I’ve always had a soft spot for McGillis since finding out she couldn’t stand Tom Cruise when filming Top Gun and that they used to do things to piss each other off on purpose.

I like how this film is almost a comedy at first and gets you knowing & liking the characters as they just stand around and talk a lot and discuss the inn’s creepy history because they find it fun & intriguing. But then the film changes & suddenly turns into a pretty seriously scary movie at the very end. I even found the ending to be satisfying, unlike so many other horror films. It comes full circle and it makes sense. Good stuff. I liked it. Don’t listen to the haters!
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Summary:

The Innkeepers is a fairly tradtional “haunted inn” story that takes its time (REALLY takes its time…) letting us get to know and like the characters as we watch them do little more than talk to each other and discuss the inn’s history in the final weekend before it’s closed for good. The characters feel like real people who do slightly crazy things that real people would do. Things are pretty light & comedic until, finally, the ending turns into a pretty damn scary movie. Not for horror fans who only like a lot of in-your-face scares and loads of gore, The Innkeepers is more my type of “horror” movie.

My Rating: 7/10

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33 thoughts on “The Innkeepers (2011) Review for Halloween Horror Fest

  1. Sounds interesting. This is way more my kind of horror than the jumpy gory ones. I do like that you felt you had to point out that no one literally shat themselves.

  2. Great review! I really liked this one from West. I enjoyed his “House of the Devil” film and I love West’s type of slow burn pictures. Much like Absentia and even Fragile. I respect films like this that develop the characters first then brings on the horror. Good job!

  3. The movie definitely takes its time to get where it needs to go, but it’s totally worth it. However, House of the Devil still seems like the better of the two in my book. Good review.

    • If you watch it, I’d like to know what you think! Honestly, it really isn’t for everyone and I can see WHY some don’t like it as it takes SO long to build. But I liked it. πŸ™‚

  4. I too have heard mixed things about this, but your review made me want to check this one out. I liked reading that Kelly McGillis and Tom Cruise hated eachother while filming Top Gun

    • Would be interested to know what you think about this if you see it. πŸ™‚ I thought everyone knew they hated each other but a few people have commented on that. Lol. Cruise made sure to not shower before their love scene.

    • Thanks. πŸ™‚ I wasn’t expecting to like it so much either. And I thought that Top Gun info was common knowledge but it seems a few didn’t know that. So you’re welcome. Lol πŸ™‚

    • Thanks. πŸ™‚ It’s a hard one to know if I should go around recommending it. When I say it’s slow, I mean it’s VERY slow. A lot of people don’t like it. I did. I also found it very creepy at the end (but I WAS watching it all alone late at night). Would like to know what you think if you do see it.

  5. Nice review and a great, understated horror film.

    (Also, it’s “who” in that sentence, not “whom,” though I had to look it up to double-check!)

  6. Pingback: Grabbers (2012) Review for Halloween Horror Fest | Cinema Parrot Disco

  7. Pingback: The House Of The Devil (2009) Review | Cinema Parrot Disco

  8. Brilliant review here! I had the pleasure of watching it this past Halloween, as it was on my list for some time now. Thank you Netflix! I’m oddly the reverse of what you feel for “The Innkeepers” and “The House of the Devil”, but I’m glad I got to see another Ti West film. Both highly enjoyable! I agree with all your points in this post too. Thank you for supplying another voice for this film!

    • Hi. Thank you! I think I’m reading your comments backwards in my notifications. Lol. Thanks for all the comments! I usually don’t get a chance to reply until the weekends but was happy to see a comment pop up for House of the Devil as I find it interesting how divided people are on that one… Looking forward to reading your thoughts on that next!

  9. Pingback: The Sacrament (2013) Review | Cinema Parrot Disco

  10. Reblogged this on Cinema Parrot Disco and commented:

    I’ve reviewed a Ti West film every October since starting this blog and realized that I don’t have one to review this year. I’m aware of a new one coming out on the 21st called In A Valley Of Violence starring Ethan Hawke (yay!) and, um, John Travolta (nay!). But as West’s films aren’t exactly mainstream, I doubt I’ll be seeing it until it pops up on Netflix or something. So, maybe you’ll see a review for that next October! In the meantime, I’m reblogging my review of West’s The Innkeepers, which I thought was pretty good. Not quite as good as The House Of The Devil but better than The Sacrament… πŸ™‚

  11. Pingback: My Top Ten Horror Movies Of The 21st Century | Cinema Parrot Disco

  12. Pingback: My Blog’s October 2016 Horror Month Recap | Cinema Parrot Disco

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