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Madeline O'Malley Was Here, So Was Red! - Ti West's THE INNKEEPERS Review


I had to make a joke out of the title to ease my nerves after finishing one of the most intense horror movies I have witnessed in eons. Yes, Ti West does it again as he did so well with HOUSE OF THE DEVIL back in 2009. Two words can describe West's horror mentality: "slow burn". It is that mple. The tenon built in this 100 minute film had me standing up and pacing the floor, tilting my head ever so slightly away from the screen and contemplating hitting the pause button to wait until the daytime hours. THE INNKEEPERS wasn't anything but a ghost story, the only problem my nerves had with the film was it being a damn good ghost story!" class="photoborder" />

Starting off like a very well written novel, the title screen comes up to reveal "Chapter 1". Sara Paxton (Claire) and Pat Healy (Luke) are the two surviving members of a nking ship (or hotel) known as the "Yankee Peddler Inn". With its glory days behind it, the "Inn" is clong after the weekend and Claire and Luke (who are fledgling Paranormal Investigators) decide to have one last fling with the after-life as they decide to canvas the "Inn" searching for the redents who passed through or passed on, rather. We get great character build up in the first chapter of the film as Paxton and Healy played their parts to near perfection. A ghost story is only as good as its storytellers and Paxton and Healy weave the story and their lives into a soup that is warm enough for you to really begin to care about them. You learn to love Luke's "who gives a shit about life"

attitude and Clair's "innocent/not sure where her life is going" attitude. You really learn to love these characters which is what is needed for the next two chapters to take place.

Chapter 2 kicks off and we are introduced to a new face to the hotel. Kelly McGillis (who played Leanne Rease-Jones in the film) enters the scene mply needing a place to stay for the weekend due to her upcoming speaking engament. We learn that Rease-Jones was a former TV and movie star who is now on the downward spiral of her career. In this chapter we learn much about what the crux of the film revolves around. We learn about Madeline O'Malley! O'Malley was a bride-to-be who was abandoned at the altar and ended up killing herself, soon the duo of Clair and Luke find out that the "Peddler" isn't going to go off into the sunset without one last taste of blood.

The third and final chapter is where all the tenon building pays off. I don't want to take away anything from the film, this isn't just a slow boring burn, West puts plenty of humor and fun horror movie jump scares in there to let you take a break but by the third and final act. You are ready to start seeing some spirits! Or are you? That depends just how alone you are in your house, how late it is, how much wind is blowing outde? You get the point.

I don't want to ruin any of the movie and delve to deeply on key plot points because this is a "must watch" film for any horror fan. If you liked James Wan's INDIOUS, I have to think that you'll like this. I personally liked this film better. Quite a bit better in fact. There were two things that I would have omitted from an otherwise near perfect ghostly tale. I think that the Bidites nation will be able to point out when these two glaring issues pop up. If you are in the right mood and you want a great "slow burn" ghost story, there mply isn't one any better than this.

Ti West is now officially on my radar as being one of the "it" directors in the horror genre. If he makes 5 terrible films after this I will watch everyone of them just to get to see another taste of what THE INNKEEPERS brought to the table. Off topic here at the end but one big thing to note is this film was shot in under two weeks and was literally made on a shoe-string budget. Practical effects are used throughout with a terrific film score. The muc, the acting, the story are all there.

Now it's your time to stay the night at the "Yankee Peddler Inn". Just for the love of God don't go in the basement....

Horror Domain - Cursed Evil Overlord Monday 1/02/2012 at 06:00 AM | 88869
still find it strange how they just completely blew me off with all those interviews

Matt_Molgaard Monday 1/02/2012 at 05:05 PM | 88882
After reading your awesome review I am DYING to see this movie! Ti West is doing another movie called V/H/S and that looks like it's going to be really, really creepy as well. I wasn't that big of a fan of House of the Devil (I loved the throwback-style of it, though), but I am counting the days until this gets out on DVD.
ObscureCinema101 Monday 1/02/2012 at 05:26 PM | 88885
Great review Justin, I agree with you, this movie sucked me in from the second it started and had me on edge for damn near half the movie. Really good film all around. I liked the sorta/kinda twist in the film as well, it caught me off guard and had me saying to myself, damn I should have seen that coming .

This is on my Highly Recommended list. I'm curious to know what two things you would have done differently.
Anonymous Monday 1/02/2012 at 11:14 PM | 88900
What you BIdites don't know is Bnizzle and I were watching this in tandem and texting each other back and fourth about what we thought was going to happen and how much we were enjoying it.

I don't want to spoil anything just yet Brian so I'll talk to you about the two changes I would have made. One happened in the second chapter and one happened after the third. That is as much as you'll get out of me on here. LOL!

And Matt that sucks that you didn't get to interview them. That is the buness sometimes. Sucks but we'll get'um next time!
Horror Domain - Cursed Evil Overlord Tuesday 1/03/2012 at 05:18 PM | 88930
After reading your awesome review I am DYING to see this movie! Ti West is doing another movie called V/H/S and that looks like it's going to be really, really creepy as well. I wasn't that big of a fan of House of the Devil (I loved the throwback-style of it, though), but I am counting the days until this gets out on DVD.

Oh and James you have to watch this now!!! It's on VOD, it is worth the money, trust me!!!!THE INNKEEPERS =
Horror Domain - Cursed Evil Overlord Tuesday 1/03/2012 at 05:19 PM | 88931
I watched this last night and it really was a pleasant surprise; however, I have to admit that I didn't really think it was scary.

The actors were great and the movie was very well done, so the lack of scares didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of the movie.

Definitely worth a watch.
gummi Wednesday 1/04/2012 at 07:29 AM | 88970
Ti West is amazing... Right now, he is the go to Guy in Horror... He is the measuring stick.
jswaffxxx Wednesday 1/04/2012 at 08:47 AM | 88974
Wow. I was blown away. Its not that i didn't like the ending, but at first i didn't even know what to feel about it. Now that i've had some time to reflect, i am ok with it. I have so much to say but don't wanna spoil anything for anyone reading this. I will say this though, the basement scenes in the 3rd act had me tting on the edge of my seat. And i totally know what you mean about the "wind" @Booman. LOL

Ti West has done it again, and set the bar even higher for himself. What will he do next?!
AgnesItsMeBilly Sunday 1/15/2012 at 08:51 PM | 89508