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Scott Derrickson

The Innkeepers

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He definitely seems like one of the new faces of horror. I hope Hollywood doesn't eat him up and spit him out. I was really impressed with House of the Devil, and The Innkeepers was fun. Too many horrors nowadays are not willing to be campy, instead just focusing on scares, and far too much seriousness. Not that there's no room for such a horror, but when it seems like that's all there is...and even the serious ones, it's like they only care about scaring, not about asking questions.


"The truth is you're the weak, and I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin Ringo, I'm tryin real hard to be the shepherd." Pulp Fiction

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There is talk on other threads about lack of good American cinema to talk about, but it seems like there has been a spate of good horror films lately. Is the horror genre a place where American cinema has been incubating?

If only I could see Sinister, this would make a good essay.


"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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Thanks for pointing that out, Michael. As one who's complained about this lack, I admit to not having seen The Innkeepers or Cabin in the Woods. I just put a hold on both at the library. I'm number 57 in the queue for Woods, but only number 3 for The Innkeepers.

I'm still trying to get over that Korean serial-killer movie Scott D. recommended I watch. Recovery is taking longer than expected.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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I just knew they would put it on streaming after I bought it (on Blu-Ray)! :) I don't regret buying it though. Great movie.

Christian, I think you will like it. The Innkeepers is as far from I Saw The Devil, in terms of violent content, as can be imagined. Just be prepared for a very "slow-burn" type of atmospheric film with moments of unexpected humor and much more character development than most contemporary horror films.

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It's in at the library, so I'll have it tomorrow for a week.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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For those with Netflix Streaming, The Innkeepers is now available. (At least, in the US.)

Given all the talk about it on here, I may just give it a look.

You should! Of all the mediocre movies I've watched this year, this one was the most winsome.


"A great film is one that to some degree frees the viewer from this passive stupor and engages him or her in a creative process of viewing. The dynamic must be two-way. The great film not only comes at the viewer, it draws the viewer toward it." -Paul Schrader

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The best thing about Ti West--and this is something Jason addresses in his review--is his sincere belief in foreplay. (Sorry, I couldn't come up with a better word.) The House of the Devil delights in teasing its audience for the first three quarters before it descends into vulgarity and becomes just another horror film.

Another thing about West is that the kind of movies he loves and imitates to near perfection aren't very good to begin with. But we are living in the age of "postart" after all.

Edited by Nathaniel

"A great film is one that to some degree frees the viewer from this passive stupor and engages him or her in a creative process of viewing. The dynamic must be two-way. The great film not only comes at the viewer, it draws the viewer toward it." -Paul Schrader

Twitter     Letterboxd

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Thanks, Nathaniel, for putting your finger on why I found House of the Devil disappointing, and for bracing me for disappointment with The Innkeepers.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Thanks, Nathaniel, for putting your finger on why I found House of the Devil disappointing, and for bracing me for disappointment with The Innkeepers.

Well, I think Nathaniel's description also explained why I liked The Innkeepers more than West's "hit" — the ending wasn't as disappointing.

EDIT: Or, let me rephrase it — I think the ending in The Innkeepers actually worked in a way that the one from House of the Devil didn't.

Edited by Jason Panella

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House of the Devil's ending did make me sad...that's the one thing about horrors I sometimes have a problem with....the only time it didn't bother me so much was Cabin in the Woods.


"The truth is you're the weak, and I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin Ringo, I'm tryin real hard to be the shepherd." Pulp Fiction

Justin's Blog twitter Facebook Life Is Story

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I liked the Innkeepers.

As far as Jeuvenile material...West also directed Cabin Fever 2... Which was absolutely terrible. It was all the things HotD and the Innkeepers was not. Jeuvenile, packed with gore, violence, crude humor...


"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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As far as Jeuvenile material...West also directed Cabin Fever 2... Which was absolutely terrible. It was all the things HotD and the Innkeepers was not. Jeuvenile, packed with gore, violence, crude humor...

For what it's worth, he goes out of his way to distance himself from the movie. I guess the producers changed the movie drastically post-production, so much that West didn't want his name attached.

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((SPOILERS))

For those who were disappointed, and/or saddened, by the end of House of the Devil, I can empathize. I liked HOTD, overall, as a film, but I did not like the overwhelming feeling, at the end, of darkness and the unequivocal triumph of evil. The end of The Innkeepers is melancholy as well but somehow, it's not as overwhelming to me. Of the two, I prefer The Innkeepers-- both overall, and, especially, the last twenty or so minutes.

HOTD finally becomes over-the-top and cartoonish (at least to me, though somehow, I'm really not sure where else it could have gone), while the comparable latter scenes of TI are truly bone-chilling and terrifying. I'm getting a bit scared now just thinking about certain moments! I'm glad that I own it to watch whenever I want to be frightened! (There are definitely theological implications in that last sentence... too bad my (Catholic) graduate school doesn't offer a Master's in Film Studies!)

Edited by Christopher Lake

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I'm a huge fan of The House of the Devil and have been looking forward to this one for quite some time. It hits the best screen in Grand Rapids in two weeks. Can't wait!

I'm now excited to see this, having just seen West's House of the Devil. I thought it was a blast. I realize we don't have a thread for that...should we?

I don't know what's happened to me. I thought I would enjoy House of the Devil, having been weaned on 1980s horror movies, both good and bad. Then I watched the film sometime in the past year, and was completely unmoved by it, other than to think it was pretty dumb. Was the ending creepy? A little. But it took SO long to get there. I take it I was supposed to feel a mounting sense of dread or something. Instead, I just watched it, my blood pressure remained level. Nothing.

This keeps happening with horror films and books. I hear there's a good one, think it'll rekindle my interest in the genre, but then I watch/read it, and nothing.

I want it back! I want the genuine chills that a good horror film/story can bring.

Jason's seen my Facebook post stating that I "wasted" last night watching this film. I'm now going back through this thread, a little sheepish to see that, once again, it's a thread started by Scott, who's very enthusiastic about the film (hey, at this rate maybe I should skip Sinisterwink.png), but to my relief, his very first post states that the acting is "a little wonky" in spots.

He's being charitable.

I'm not.

Reading through the thread, I got to my post, quoted above, and decided to post this reply. I'll now return to the rest of the thread...

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Reading through the thread, I got to my post, quoted above, and decided to post this reply. I'll now return to the rest of the thread...

Isn't there a saying about people who try the same thing over and over and expect different results? ;)

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The acting was hammy in spots, but I thought Sara Paxton and Pat Healy were perfect as the leads.

In some of the special features, West and his team mention that the movie was designed from the Yankee Pedlar up. As in, if they couldn't use the Pedlar (a real hotel), they wouldn't shoot the movie. I honestly can't think of a similar film. The hotel really does have a personality of its own.

As a side note, man...internet "horror" fans really don't seem to like West or his movies. Their loss.

Still going through the thread -- not too much further than my previous post! This could take a while -- and wanted to say that the best, most eerie part of the film, are the opening shots/images of the hotel. Every time the film returned to an establishing shot of the hotel, I thought, "Now we're getting somewhere." Alas, no.

The acting, hammy in spots? I'll say. That's one big spot!

So I guess I'm an "Internet 'horror' fan"?

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Another thing about West is that the kind of movies he loves and imitates to near perfection aren't very good to begin with. But we are living in the age of "postart" after all.

Yes. That's part of what I'm looking for with contemporary horror: not a throwback to films I liked when I was 13 but have grown to see the weaknesses of, but something that takes the genre forward without repeating the same weaknesses of horror films from my teenage years.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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From Jason's Curator review: " So much of the film depends on soaking in detailed audio cues; the producers even put a preface on the DVD/Blu-ray release that suggests the viewer 'play it loud.'"

Glad you mentioned that, because I followed this instruction, only to wonder, "Why?" So I could jump during that first scare while the girl is staring at the computer? That's a cheap fright.

I didn't pick up on too many "detailed audio cues."

Reading through the thread, I got to my post, quoted above, and decided to post this reply. I'll now return to the rest of the thread...

Isn't there a saying about people who try the same thing over and over and expect different results? wink.png

I know, I know. smile.png But why should I give up on an entire genre? My film-watching life bucks against such a "strategy"/"solution." I refuse to ignore an entire school/type of filmmaking. There has to be enough latitude within the genre to provide appeal somewhere within it.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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I didn't pick up on too many "detailed audio cues."

You mean you didn't hear any of the voices buried in the EVP audio? Or all of the panning stuff in the 5.1? Or all of the ambient textures? I mean, that may not be how you define "detailed audio cues," but they're there.

And the "cheap fright" (and it was) was supposed to be a kind of hint that West was at least going to try to have a little fun with the next 80 minutes.

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