Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini


The Innkeepers

The Innkeepers
Starring:
Sara Paxton, Pat Healy, Kelly McGillis and George Riddle


Rated: R 
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: February 3, 2012 Released by: Magnolia Pictures

Torrington, Connecticut's charmingly rustic "The Yankee Pedlar Inn" (which opened in 1891 - see www.pedlarinn.com) gets a little quirky paranormal mettle into its haunted reputation, and could enjoy a few additional visitors thanks to this fictionalized retro, unhurried horror show. Some of whom may have enjoyed the likes of the more viscerally incisive American Horror Story on the small screen that helmer, writer and editor Ti West handles in mostly solemn fashion.

"The Innkeepers stars Sara Paxton, Pat Healy, and Kelly McGillis, and occurs as the once successful tavern on the verge of permanently closing.
 
While its owner is enjoying some R & R in Barbados two college dropouts toiling for minimum wage - Paxton's Clair and Healy's Luke - use their menial clerking to try to record the presence of poltergeists in this New England hotel at the foot of the Berkshire Hills. From their interest in the on-line "Real Hauntings" the legend of jilted Madeline O'Malley still hovers over the premises.
 
McGillis (who made a good impression in the relatively recent vampire pic Stake Land) prattles her way as a vodka-loving washed-up television star Leanne, finding entertainment now as a psychic who mentions that there are "only different stages of being in an unreal world." She gives a curious, yet uptight Claire more impetus to do what she shouldn't - try to make a kind of spiritual contact in the basement - after taking out her handy crystal pendulum when a lobby piano strikes a chord.
 
Another aging visitor (George Riddle) pays cash to specifically have a room on the long-abandoned third-floor room where he honeymooned on the Inn's final day, as The Innkeepers foreboding pokes to a conclusion which may be met with much disdain who aren't into this kind of  "mumble-core" filmic experience.
 
Still, West manages to do well enough instill a spooky atmosphere, especially from Jeff Grace's score, even if much patience is required to truly absorb the intended Gothic chill that may have a different imminent prescient quality than the recent remake of Don't Be Afraid of the Dark. Paxton (of The Last House on the Left remake) and Healy exude enough personality to their tomboyish, doltish characters to help make this haunted house tale less harried and prosaic than it actually may be.

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