02-16-2018 12:28:03 PM -0800
01-23-2018 09:55:12 AM -0800
01-18-2018 11:02:22 AM -0800
01-09-2018 01:54:15 PM -0800
12-22-2017 09:40:32 AM -0800
It looks like you've previously blocked notifications. If you'd like to receive them, please update your browser permissions.
Desktop Notifications are  | 
Get instant alerts on your desktop.
Turn on desktop notifications?
Remind me later.

DVD: The Innkeepers

One of the many things my long-suffering wife has long been suffering is my fascination with ghost stories and suspense movies that don't quite work. I take a professional interest in figuring out what went wrong with a near-miss in the genres and can, I fear, go on and on about it, sometimes greeting the poor woman the moment the alarm goes off with something like, "The quality level of a ghost story is in inverse proportion to the number of its boo-scares."

Last weekend, I watched The Inkeepers and, I'm not sure, but I think my wife may have moved out.

I so wanted to like this — even after I watched it and didn't like it, I still wanted to like it. An old-fashioned ghost story set in an all-but-empty inn: exactly my idea of a good time. And there is more talent on display in this little picture than in half a dozen bigger and better ones. Ti West, who wrote and directed, is clearly bubbling over with natural ability. He has a delightful sense of character and sense of humor and a strong instinct for what is now called the "slow burn," but was once called "storytelling." Sara Paxton — who seems to only take parts in which she gets brutally raped, killed, eaten or all of the above — is not only incredibly adorable but a charming actress. And Pat Healy is terrific.

But the film just doesn't work. I love a slow build-up — but it's gotta be there for a reason. There's not enough story here to justify the time taken to tell it. And those cheap boo-scares that turn out to be nothing — they've gotta go, each and every single one of them. And when the real scares do come, they're only okay. Creepy enough to watch, but we've seen em before. And a real scare should be scary in conception so that it lasts after the movie is over. After this was over, I forgot it entirely.