DVD Shopping Bag: The Innkeepers (Mania.com)

By:Robert T. Trate
Date: Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Source: Mania.com

Claire (Sara Paxton) and Luke (Pat Healy) are working their last few days at the Yankee Pedlar Inn. The century old hotel is going out of business and they are left to take care of the few guests that remain. In their enormous amount of free time, they have combed the hotel for ghosts. Luke has created a website of research and Claire has become obsessed with calling them out. They are amateur ghost hunters and with a ton of free time on their hands it helps with the monotony.

On what looks to be their final weekend working, several odd guests check into the hotel. The first is an old television star, Leanne Rease-Jones (Kelly McGillis) who claims to be in town for a convention but harbors other worldly abilities. The other is an old man (George Riddle) who longs for one more night at the hotel to say goodbye to some memories.

We all have ghost stories or have been told them. There is a suspense element to either the story or the moment as it happened. That particular moment, as we experienced it, felt as if it took forever. Seconds crawled by as our own fears over took us paralyzing every cell in our bodies. It was probably only a moment, but that terrible feeling of dread will live with us forever. It is damn near impossible to convey that to someone unless they lived it with you. You can drag the story out; embellish it here and there. However, the longer you drag it out the worse the story gets. Unfortunately, this is what plagues Ti West’s film. It is a collection of long drawn out scary build- ups that deliver but are so few and far between that we get bored.

The medium of film is what hurts it. West has only so long to tell the story. He has to convince the audience that what his characters are seeing and feeling is real. He does goose you from time to time with parlor tricks and the occasional fright. However, the real terror is what Claire experiences. She seeks out help from McGillis’ Leanne, but as the story goes it just opens up new plot threads that don’t mislead, turn the story, or accomplish anything. The more Claire traveled down into the rabbit hole (the basement) I kept wondering exactly how dumb she was. She witnessed some horrific things on and off camera yet, at her most terrified, she ran down into the lions den for what reason? If she is our heroine, we should never think she deserves to get killed because she is dumb.

Sadly, Pat Healy’s Luke suffers a lot of the same problems. His character is established as an amateur ghost hunter who recorded an occurrence on video. Yet, he later reneges on what he did and stated he made it up. Only later does West set up Luke with a revelation about the ghosts to tell Claire but it, too, never happens. Why? Because Claire is off to the basement and certain doom for no reason. There is more resolution to the Leanne and the Old Man then our main characters ever hope to have.

Where this films excels is in its “less is more” approach. West could have delivered full well lit shots of his horrors. Instead we see shadow engulfed specters that allow us to scare ourselves more than the make-up crew. What was so incredible was how scared I became by the actual payoff of West’s imagination. Sadly, it was the long dull moments of reality that went nowhere that put me to sleep.

Top 5 Picks of the Week:

1. Shogun Assassin - 5 Film Collector's Edition [Blu-ray]
2. Let the Bullets Fly (Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray]
3. The Theatre Bizarre
4. The Red House Blu-Ray + DVD Combo Pack
5. Camelot [Blu-ray]

ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS

Badge 373 [Blu-ray] Starring Robert Duvall, Verna Bloom, Henry Darrow and Eddie Egan

Badge 373 Starring Robert Duvall, Verna Bloom, Henry Darrow and Eddie Egan

Blind Turn Starring Rachel Boston and Jay Dee Walters

Citizen Welles - The Stranger, The Trial, Hearts of Age Starring Paul Edgerton, Virginia Nicholson and Orson Welles

Contraband (Two-Disc Combo Pack: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Mark Wahlberg and Giovanni Ribisi

Contraband Starring Mark Wahlberg and Giovanni Ribisi

Cowboys & Indians Starring Alvin Cowan, Steve Guilmette, Katy Maloney

Dark Tide [Blu-ray] Starring Halle Berry, Olivier Martinez, Ralph Brown and Luke Tyler

Dark Tide Starring Halle Berry, Olivier Martinez, Ralph Brown and Luke Tyler

Daylight Starring Michael Godere, Ivan Martin, Aidan Redmond Alexandra Meierhans

Hate for Hate Starring Antonio Sabato, John Ireland, Fernando Sancho

Hellcats Starring Dee Duffy, Sharyn Kinzie, Del 'Sonny' West Ross Hagen

Hit! [Blu-ray] Starring Billy Dee Williams, Richard Pryor, Paul Hampton

Hit! Starring Billy Dee Williams, Richard Pryor, Paul Hampton

Karate Girl Starring Rina Takeda

Lassiter Starring Tom Selleck, Jane Seymour, Lauren Hutton and Bob Hoskins

Let the Bullets Fly (Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray] Starring Chow Yun-Fat, Xiaogang Feng and Wen Jiang

Let the Bullets Fly (Collector's Edition) Starring Chow Yun-Fat, Xiaogang Feng and Wen Jiang

Let the Bullets Fly [Blu-ray/DVD Combo] Starring Chow Yun-Fat, Xiaogang Feng and Wen Jiang

Let the Bullets Fly Starring Chow Yun-Fat, Xiaogang Feng and Wen Jiang

Scarlet Worm, The [Blu-ray] Starring Aaron Stielstra, Dan van Husen, Montgomery Ford

Scarlet Worm, The Starring Aaron Stielstra, Dan van Husen, Brett Halsey

Sword Masters: Swordsman & Enchantress Starring Lung Ti, Lily Li, Li Ching and Tony Liu

Sword Masters: Duel of Fist Starring Lung Ti, David Chiang and Li Ching

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy [Blu-ray] Starring Alec Guinness, Michael Jayston, Anthony Bate

Titanic (Blu-ray/ DVD Combo) Starring Toby Jones, Linus Roache, Geraldine Somerville

Titanic Starring Toby Jones, Linus Roache, Geraldine Somerville

ANIME

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood: Collection 1 (2012)

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood: Complete Collection One [Blu-ray] Starring Maxey Whitehead, Vic Mignogna and Christopher Sabat

Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood: The Sacred Star of Milos Movie (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Vic Mignogna, Maxey Whitehead and Alexis Tipton

Fushigi Yugi: Season One

Golgo 13 Collection 3

Kite [Blu-ray]

Jyu-Oh-Sei: Planet of the Beast King - The Complete Series Starring Sean Michael Teague, Alison Viktorin and Eric Vale

CARTOONS

Ben 10 Classic: Four Arms Starring Graham Phillips

Marvel Anime: Iron man - Complete Series

Marvel Anime: X-Men - Complete Series

Marvel Animated Features: 3-Movie Collection [Blu-ray]

Marvel Animated Features: 3-Movie Collection

Ultimate Avengers Movie Collection (Ultimate Avengers / Ultimate Avengers 2 / New Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow) [Blu-ray]

Ultimate Avengers Movie Collection (Ultimate Avengers / Ultimate Avengers 2 / New Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow)

The Wild Thornberrys: Season Two, Part 2 Starring Lacey Chabert and Tim Curry

CLASSICS

The Buccaneer Starring Fredric March, Akim Tamiroff, Anthony Quinn

Dressed To Kill Starring Nigel Bruce Basil Rathbone

Grand Central Murder Starring Van Heflin, Patricia Dane and Cecilia Parker

The House Across The Street / Homicide: WB Film Noir Double Feature Starring Wayne Morris, Janis Paige, Bruce Bennett and Robert Douglas

I Was A Spy Starring Madeleine Carroll, Herbert Marshall, Conrad Veidt

The Jayhawkers [Blu-ray] Starring Jeff Chandler, Fess Parker, Henry Silva and Nicole Maurey

The Jayhawkers Starring Jeff Chandler, Fess Parker, Henry Silva and Nicole Maurey

Pony Express Starring Charlton Heston, Rhonda Fleming, Forrest Tucker

Two Smart People Starring Lucille Ball, John Hodiak and Lloyd Nolan

The Youngest Profession Starring Virginia Weidler, Edward Arnold and John Carroll

Criterion Collection

A Hollis Frampton Odyssey (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

A Hollis Frampton Odyssey (Criterion Collection)

Eclipse Series 32: Pearls of the Czech New Wave (Pearls of the Deep, Daisies, A Report on the Party and Guests, Return of the Prodigal Son, Capricious Summer, The Joke) (Criterion Collection) Starring Ferdinand Kruta, Ivan Vyskocil, Ivana Karbanova

The Organizer (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring Marcello Mastroianni and Annie Girardot

The Organizer (Criterion Collection) Starring Marcello Mastroianni and Annie Girardot

HORROR

11-11-11 Starring Timothy Gibbs, Michael Landes and Wendy Glenn

Death & Cremation Starring Brad Dourif and Jeremy Sumpter

Fetish Dolls Die Laughing Starring Michael McGovern, Aaron Bernard, Angelo Brunii, Diana Silvio, Kimberly Naim, Tiffany Apan Laura Romeo

The Fields Starring Cloris Leachman, Tara Reid and Joshua Ormond

The Fields [Blu-ray] Starring Cloris Leachman, Tara Reid and Joshua Ormond

Indemnity: Rage Of A Jealous Vampire Starring Dan I. Radakovich, Crystalann Jones David Dietz

The Innkeepers [Blu-ray] Starring Sara Paxton, Kelly McGillis and Pat Healy

The Innkeepers Starring Sara Paxton, Kelly McGillis and Pat Healy

Killer Nun [Blu-ray] Starring Anita Ekberg, Paola Morra, Alida Valli and Lou Castel

Ms Cannibal Holocaust Starring Nicola Fiore, Wes Reid Kellyn Lindsay

Night Wolf Starring Tom Felton and Isabella Calthorpe

Paranormal Case Files: Ghost Investigations

The Red House Blu-Ray + DVD Combo Pack Starring Lon Mccallister and Edward G. Robinson

The Theatre Bizarre Starring Udo Kier, Guilford Adams, Suzan Anbeh and Lindsay Goranson

Thor At The Bus Stop Starring Joe Berry, Robert Shupe, Barrett Applegate

Ubaldo Terzani Horror Show [Blu-ray] Starring Giuseppe Soleri, Paolo Sassanelli and Laura Gigante

The Wicker Tree [Blu-ray] Starring Brittania Nicol, Henry Garrett, Christopher Lee

The Wicker Tree Starring Brittania Nicol, Henry Garrett, Christopher Lee

Wreckage (Unrated Edition) Starring Aaron Paul, Scoot McNairy and Cameron Richardson

Wreckage Starring Cameron Richardson, Scoot McNairy and Aaron Paul

MODERN CLASSICS on BLU-RAY

Camelot [Blu-ray] Starring Richard Harris

SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY

Ancient Alien Agenda: Aliens and UFOs from the Area 51 Archives Starring Jason Martell

Planet Of Vampire Women Starring Stephanie Hyden, Jawara Duncan, Keith Letl, Paquita Estrada, Ashley Marino, Danielle J. Williams, Emily Vernon Liesel Hanson

TV LAND

Car 54 Where Are You? - The Complete Second Season Starring Fred Gwynne and Joe E. Ross

Agatha Christie's Poirot: Series 4 [Blu-ray] Starring David Suchet, Philip Jackson and Hugh Frasier

Agatha Christie's Poirot: Series 4 Starring David Suchet, Philip Jackson and Hugh Frasier

BOX SETS

Shogun Assassin - 5 Film Collector's Edition [Blu-ray] Starring Tomisaburo Wakayama

Robert Trate writes three weekly columns for Mania: the DVD Shopping Bag, the Toy Maniac, and The Geek Life. Follow Robert on Twitter for his for Geek ramblings, Cosplay photos and film criticisms. 



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