Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini


Kate Beckinsale, Luke Wilson and Frank Whaley

Rated: R  for brutal violence and terror, brief nudity and language
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: April 20, 2007 Released by: Screen Gems

The horror-torture thriller Vacancy is something that may appeal to those who are fond of Saw and Hostel even if it doesn't go down with as deep of a sadistic plunge.

This Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson picture is about their characters being stranded in a seedy inn, and the gratuitiously strange result. One is reminded of the likes of 8 MM and Breakdown, as the latter has a character with the same name as Beckinsale's, Amy.

Wilson's David Fox and the aforementioned Amy are deeply estranged due mainly to the unexplained death of their son. The startling frames of them in a car reaching their Bates' motel of a destination shows there is some visual panache to behold.

A sense of claustrophobia is always looming even before David and Amy end up dealing with a creepy, bespectacled motel clerk Mason (Frank Whaley). The door of their "honeymoon suite" sounds like its being hammered and the walls slammed.

From the trailers, the room's VCR have tapes of sickening crimes that they watch which happened to have occurred in that same room. The vicious perpetrators, who will take their abuse out a long way with Halloween masks, will take joy in their cruelty, as Vacancy strangely feels at home in that one sordid room.

One can admire the work of director Nimrod Antal, much more than Mark L. Smith's script, for the visual strangulation, closeups that help in the swiftness department. But, the disbelief and vacuousness, coupled with the criminal and misogynistic obliquely and dubiously makes this inexplicable entertainment.

  Frank Chris Tony Jim Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Vacancy   C+   D+ F     D+

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