Every Ti West Movie, Ranked Worst To Best
Early on in “The Innkeepers,” a hotel employee named Luke (Pat Healy) shows his coworker Claire (Sara Paxton) a video he says he found on a “paranormal forum.” The two think the doomed hotel where they work is haunted, and they’re planning to use this last weekend before the place closes for good as a chance to finally capture proof of the supernatural.
The video, Luke says, shows a ghost, but Claire needs to look closely, because he almost missed it. She stares… and stares… and waits… and suddenly a face fills the screen, shrieking. It’s a joke, in other words. These online “screamers” were all the rage around the time “The Innkeepers” was released, and Ti West seems to structure the film around the same concept. There are long, drawn-out stretches of a character exploring a room… staring into darkness… waiting for something to happen… and then it does, and we chuckle with relief.
Charitably, we might say that West understands very well the tension-and-release rhythms of the horror film. Less charitably, we might call “The Innkeepers” a mild disappointment, stuffed full of little except jump scares.
This is also West at his most mumblecore. “What a failblog!” one character exclaims, and another agrees, “Epic.” The ghosts’ makeup looks costumey, and Paxton’s performance is overly broad; she seems to be going for laughs rather than scares. Still, there’s enough craft on display to make “The Innkeepers” a decent-enough entry in West’s filmography.
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