The Innkeepers
, , , ,
100 min.
Release Date
The Innkeepers

Early in The Innkeepers, a hotel clerk asks his coworker to watch a video online purporting to show proof of the afterlife. She watches the grainy, black-and-white footage that shows an old rocking chair and vintage dress hanging in an attic. The frame ever so slowly zooms toward the chair. Both the girl and the audience watch, waiting for some minor evidence—the sort that usually invites incredulity and skepticism. Maybe the chair will rock on its own. Maybe some semi-transparent figure will move in the background. As the frame narrows, and we lean in, anticipating what will come, the seconds pass. We know something is coming that will surely make us jump in our seats, but we cannot resist. All at once, a goofy ghoul face bursts onto the screen with a loud shriek—we gasp, our shoulders tighten, and immediately after, we laugh at the obvious practical joke. It’s a perfect gotcha moment, and The Innkeepers is filled with similar jump-scares. We know these moments are coming. We can see them approaching from a mile away. Yet, Ti West, serving as writer, director, and editor, has such control over his medium that we cannot help but have the bejesus scared out of us.

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