Genres: Horror, Thriller

Rated: R

Country: USA

Year: 2007

Runtime: 85 minutes

Studio: Sony


Amazon Page
Review done by: Serial McKiller
Online since: February 20th, 2006
Hosted by:  Yahoo!
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Luke Wilson, Frank Whaley, Ethan Embry

Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo

Synopsis: A young married couple becomes stranded at an isolated motel
and finds hidden video cameras in their room. They realize that unless they
escape, they'll be the next victims of a snuff film.


"Vacancy' is another in a grand in a group of modern horror, thrillers that
take a lot of cues from thrillers of yester years, but still manges to make it
entreating and fresh. Also for a change their are top name stars for one of
these, where as a lot of bigger names still find the genre to be too taboo.
Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale play a husband and wife only inches from
divorce on their way to her parents. In the middle of the night they take a
short cut to avoid a traffic accident, when the car begins to sputter and they
stop at a mysterious motel and car garage. The mechanic findles with the car
for a bit before sending them on their way, in which (surprise, surprise) they
break down again. They walk back to the motel and the exceedingly creepy
motel manager, played by the highly underrated character actor Frank Whaley
checks them in. After which... well let's just say things mount progressively
worse for them.

One of the main draws to this film is it's logic. True like all horror films there
is some suspension on true reality, but for the most part this couple is
smart. They don't just sit around a lot of the time and they don't just run off
and try to be hero's every second. They take a little time, scope it out and
see the angles then decide what to do. There's a ton of clever touches done
in the film that add a lot of artistry to the idea of people killing people in a
motel and recording the snuff films to sell. A lot of long, darkly lit scenes.
Director Nimrod Antal looks to be to be a formidable filmmaker in the future if
he keeps up with that kind of craftsmanship. There are scenes that smell
Hitchcockian or even a little David Lynch and it all flows well. "Vacancy" also
manages not to waste a lot of time with only an 85 minute running time it
gets where it's going fast and is extremely entertaining.

I mean from the "Psycho" styled opening credits till the end it's a lot of fun. I
think it's a real shame this didn't become a huge hit, however there might be
life for it on DVD. It's really a classy, modern thriller with great acting by the
small, well assembled cast. Frank Whaley as the villain was a perfect, perfect
piece of casting. Just for him as this sadistic, nerdy, nut-job I'd recommend
it, but the music and the photography are all impressive pieces. Plus the
general atmosphere is taunt and tense. "Vacancy" is simply put just a well
rounded thriller! It's as fun as other throw back styled thrillers like "Disturbia"
and "Identity".

Overall: 8/10
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