- Ti West
- Sara Paxton, Pat Healy, Kelly McGillis, George Riddle, Lena Dunham
- 100 min.
- Release Date
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.
The full review is currently posted on Patreon. Join Deep Focus Review’s Patron community, and you’ll receive exclusive access to this review and many other writings published on Patreon first.
Patrons also get access to:
• Exclusive weekly blog posts
• Streaming recommendations every Friday
• Polls to pick the movies reviewed on Deep Focus Review and Patreon
• Pick your own “Reader’s Choice” review (at the Screenwriter tier or higher)
• Polls that decide the next entry in The Definitives