Director Ti West’s ‘The Innkeepers‘ (2011) follows some unnatural events in the Yankee Pedlar Inn in Connecticut, which is known to locals as one of the most haunted hotels. The movie focuses on its final week of service before it closes for good after a century-long history.
In its final few days, the last remaining two employees Claire (Sara Paxton) and Luke (Pat Healy) are adamant to find out the truth of the ghost story behind the hotel and documenting any paranormal activity. While taking up the desk-clerking jobs, they soon started experiencing some strange happenings in the hotel with the check-in of some unusual guests.
This low-budget supernatural horror film, directed by writer-director Ti West, whose earlier attempt “The House of the Devil” bombed at the box office, is not scary enough to make you fast-forward the DVD, but not entirely boring because of its very few yet genuine chilling scenes.
Maybe it is West’s style of filmmaking in bringing a gore-free and not so terrifying plot. Nevertheless, The Innkeepers is entertaining if you start following characters without searching or waiting for a ghost to appear on the screen.
Director West, just like his earlier film, has almost painted everything in a very traditional approach. After the introduction of its lead characters, the film takes its own pace to build up. Set entirely inside the hotel, barring a few scenes, it gives you a very quaint feeling, like the early 80s, yet quite modern in terms of the interaction between characters.
If you are still thinking that I did not tell you about the ghost, it’s because I simply want you to watch. Throughout the film before the last 15 minutes, you might even end up thinking that the story of ghosts is only in the mind of Claire and there is no actual ghost.
In the absence of a compelling storyline, the success of The Innkeepers totally goes to its director who has put an outstanding effort in engaging us with the characters so deeply that we end up frightened away even with the slightest of shock moment.
The Innkeepers (2012)
Directed by Ti West
Written by Ti West
Starring: Sara Paxton, Pat Healy, Kelly McGillis
Cinematography: Eliot Rockett
Release Date/Year: March 12, 2011 (SXSW); February 3, 2012 (US)