Saturday, October 29, 2016

31 Days of Spooky Movies: The Innkeepers

Day #13

The Innkeepers

A small hotel is set to shut down for good and the two remaining staff members are determined to prove once and for all that the place is haunted.

Fright Factor:
3 / 5 Customers

Gore Factor:
1.8 / 5 Rude Ghosts

Should you watch it?

Horror movies frequently make the mistake of having unlikable main characters. But unless you’re bringing some real skill to the table to compensate, it’s hard to be truly scared when the worst that could happen is that some dudebro69 is going to get got. But therein lies the greatest strength of this movie: Sara Paxton steals the show as a lead character who’s just too innately sweet and likable for anyone to want to see her get hurt.

This is one of those horror movies that slowly ratchets up the tension as the film progresses and I love when horror movies do that. Not to mention that it’s nice to see a spooky movie that never tries to go way over the top. They seem to have been working with a less-is-more philosophy and it works to great effect here. Going big can result in bigger scares, but working the small stuff is more unsettling in a way, because it somehow seems all the more possible.

And as if those things weren’t enough, I was pleased to learn that the movie is told from a customer service worker’s point of view!

I’m not gonna lie to you, I particularly enjoy any movie that accurately describes what it’s like to work in customer service. The boredom, the drudgery, the fun of having ridiculous conversations with coworkers, the lengths one will go to to make things more fun, the annoying interactions with customers, feeling like a failure that this is where your life has led you and the only reason you stick around is that you don’t know what you want to do instead.

As I was watching the movie I was getting really excited to be able to talk about how refreshing it was to see a horror movie where the two leads are opposite genders and yet just platonic friends. But UNFORTUNATELY they had to go and blow it by having the dude confess his feelings near the end. Come on, dummy! This place is reaching a dangerous level of haunted and you decide that this is the right time for this conversation? What makes it all the worse is that he is clearly mistaking the kindness of friendship as romantic attraction.

But what it all really comes down to is that the film managed to get to me. I actually had to stop this movie at one point, because there was a weird noise coming from somewhere in my house and it was starting to really freak me out. Turns out the ceiling in my bathroom was leaking, but the point is the movie got in my head and started making me feel a little bit unsafe in my own home.

A sure sign of a good horror movie if ever there was one.

“Do you know the story of Madeline O’Malley?

She was the one that died here in the hotel.

She hung herself after her fiance stood her up on her wedding day. The original owners of the hotel, thought it would be bad press and hurt the business. So, they hid her dead body in the wood cellar for three days. Before they could smuggle her out of the loading bay.

When the people of the town finally figured out what had happened here...

They were outraged.

So, the owners had to close the hotel down and were forced to sell it.

Nobody came through here again until the ’60s. And ever since then, people have reported seeing the ghost of Madeline O’Malley roaming the hallways waiting for her lover.

Some say, she’s even looking to take up a new one.”

“Excuse me? What are you doing?”


“What’s going on?”

“She said there’s a ghost in that hotel. She said it’s coming to get me!”

“I never said that.”

“What’s the matter with you? He’s just a child.”

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