The Movie Waffler New Release Review - The Innkeepers | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review - The Innkeepers

Directed by: Ti West
Starring: Sara Paxton, Pat Healy, Kelly McGillis

Ti West is regarded by many as the best American horror director of this generation and with such poor competition it's hard to argue this claim.
I appreciate his approach to the genre, favouring atmosphere over cheap shocks yet with all his films there comes a point around the hour mark when you realise the purposely slow build up isn't actually leading anywhere.
His latest effort follows this pattern but the improved pacing and lighter tone makes it his most accesible yet. Unlike most horror films featuring young people the characters here are quite likeable and believable, as someone with experience of minimum wage jobs Paxton and Healy seem all too real. McGillis however, continuing her career revival in horror, plays a character who seems to serve no real purpose, and adds nothing worthwhile to the narrative.
Another problem is the hotel location, it just looks too modern to generate any creepiness. Maybe it's European snobbery but to me old means centuries not decades.
The highlight is a sequence near the end involving Paxton trapped in the basement. It's probably the creepiest scene since the climax of "Rec".
I view West as a low budget M Night Shyamalan, his skill as a writer is in no way on a par with his directorial abilities. While "The Innkeepers" is overall average fare it does at least show he's moving in the right direction but I believe his future hangs on whether he's willing to direct other writer's work.