A ghost story is only effective when in the proper hands. If the director or writer is just someone looking for a few cheap scares you’re bound to be disappointed. Under the proper supervision, a ghost story can be just as terrifying as any older, considered classic, film.
The Magnet Releasing film “The Innkeepers”, tries it’s damnedest too be one effective ghost story, but runs into a couple of things that make it impossible to be.
This supernatural thriller stars Sara Paxton (“How to Get Away with Murder”, “Lovestruck: The Musical”), Pat Healy (“Draft Day”, “Cheap Thrills”), Kelly McGillis (“Love Finds You in Sugarcreek”, “We Are What We Are”), and Lena Dunham (“Girls”, “Happy Christmas”).
The film was written and directed by Ti West (“The Sacrament”, “The House of the Devil”).
At long last! I have seen this film! Of course, it took it being Halloween for that too happen, but hey! it’s the perfect night for this! It helped that, surprisingly, I was looking for something new. I do love the classics, or the other horror films that I usually watch, but once in a while, it’s nice too mix things up. So, here we are.
The score was the most effective thing in this film. Now, mind you, the acting wasn’t bad at all. Different, but not bad. What the actors did with their respective characters leant itself quite nicely to the overall film. The score, which was absolutely perfect for this film, didn’t just pop up during some lame jump scare or during a frightening encounter, like most horror films will have it do. No, this score existed well before things like that could occur. By that I mean that the score was used to pull you in, and sometimes, ease you or keep you in a state of panic. While the score was wonderful, the sad thing was, it didn’t have the same effect as “The House of the Devil” did. That film really got to me. The finale did have some interesting and frightening moments, but ultimately couldn’t deliver a powerful punch.
I can enjoy the comical bits, mostly because they’re funny, and not bad funny. While those were limited, of course, they were well positioned.
The only major problem, which I blame, but can’t hold against the film, or West too much is the pacing. The pacing pulled me out too much, especially when the scares and fear had to be moderated. However, by moderating this fear, and the few, differently approached, jump scares, it allowed for the panic to come in and maybe some anxiety as you watch the film. While I could see it all as planned, it didn’t work that well on me. That could just be me, and the fact that I did get quite terrified by “The House of the Devil”. I guess I expected something akin to that, but got something else.
The film wasn’t bad, and I appreciate West even more, and hope he keeps approaching horror this way, but at the same time, I’m going to need something else. It’s clear that he knows how to construct horror and tension/fear, but after awhile, the audience is going to catch on and the usual tricks will not hold up. At least there’s hope for this old genre. I was beginning to think it would go the way of the dinosaurs.