2007-10-15 14:36
What it’s about

Amy (Kate Beckinsale) and David (Luke Wilson) are a married couple on the verge of separation. When their car breaks down on the way home from Amy’s parents’ house, they get help from a mechanic at a gas station and take a room in a lonely motel at the stop... where they realise they’re about to become the latest victims of a gang of sadistic killers with a love of snuff movies.

What we thought of it

Vacancy doesn’t have the most promising ingredients for a gripping thriller. Luke Wilson is a fantastic comedy actor, and Kate Beckinsale a very pretty vampire. Then there’s a plot so old and well worn that it should be sitting on its rocking chair enjoying its twilight years. Amazingly, though, Vacancy delivers the goods, and does so with old-style horror panache.

Right from the start you know you are in for something very different from the infantile teen sadism of Hostel and its clones. Clues include purposefully retro opening credits and music. Director Nimrod Antal gives more than one nod to Alfred Hitchcock, and AH’s influence is clear throughout Vacancy – think tight camerawork and atmospherics.

Both Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale ably convey normal people with normal problems, and when the horror starts, the reactions are believable, contributing massively to the tension. Even when the action heats up, it never strays into silly heroics, and the gore is also kept to a minimum, making those scenes of actual bloodletting all the more shocking. Sadly Vacancy lags a bit in the final quarter, which isn’t too surprising for such a single minded film. But it manages to redeem itself by the end. A special mention should go to Frank Whaley for giving us one of the more memorable movie villains in recent history. He walks the line between comical and sleazy. Actually, pity that he wasn’t given more screen time.

Vacancy isn’t genius by any means, but you should be on the edge of your seat (or cowering in terror) for most of it. Like a persistent dog hanging onto a stick for dear life, it does one thing well – it’s scary. Hitchcock’s influence injects a refreshing breath of class.

It also contains one of the coolest sequences of quick cuts in a horror film ever, juxtaposing the action with the action on a TV, so see if you can spot that.

- Ivan Sadler
This Hitchcock-heavy thriller breathes freshly scary air into the horribly boring horror genre.

Me love you long time 2007/08/03 7:38 AM
Juxtaposing Ooohh Ivan, I love it when you talk foreign!
lalasini 2007/08/03 7:54 AM
Vacancy Thanks Ivan, the trailer looked interesting but I did NOT want to let myself in for another Hostel, so your comments were very helpful :)
rayzo 2007/08/04 1:03 AM
Its makes for a good watch I saw the movie on thursdat, quite a good movie... Cheap to make; considering that one real location was used.. the ending sucks a bit though... but the movie is cool..
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.