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Innkeepers, The (Blu-ray Review)

17 Apr, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Street 4/24/12
MPI/Dark Sky
Box Office $0.08 million
$27.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray
Rated ‘R’ for some bloody images and language.
Stars Sara Paxton, Pat Healy, Kelly McGillis.

The horror genre runs the gamut from slice-and-dice (Saw, Wrong Turn, Hostel), psychological (Devil, The Blair Witch Project), and depraved (The Last House on the Left, I Spit on Your Grave).

In refreshingly different The Innkeepers, Sara Paxton, a survivor from Last House, plays Claire, a curious twentysomething tomboy working the last weekend shift of a soon-to-be shuttered century-old grand hotel with Luke (Pat Healy), a fortysomething geeky man-child enamored with the paranormal.

With just one or two guests, it goes without saying why the Yankee Pedlar Inn is closing, but not so much an apparent reunion of those involved in the mysterious onsite death decades earlier of newlywed Madeline O’Malley, whose ghost is said to inhabit the place.

Director Ti West, who turned the horror genre on its head lulling viewers with myriad complacent scenes (until the very end) in House of the Devil, does the same here. In fact, except for the odd sound or two, Claire and Luke must amuse their entertaining platonic relationship with goofy pranks and perusing a website the latter created showcasing a purported ghost video of O’Malley.

Enter 1980s siren Kelly McGillis (Top Gun, Witness), who long ago took a page out of Kathleen Turner’s playbook eschewing the sexually charged female lead, playing Leanne, an appropriately over-the-hill actress in town to attend some nondescript conference. Leanne dismisses ebullient Claire as some silly fan.

Of course, there’s more to her story, which Claire — unfortunately — is intent on exploring, among other nooks and crannies throughout the hotel’s long hallways, bathrooms and dark basement.

Sometimes, curiosity does indeed kill the cat.

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