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- kept me glued!!
Scary enough movie without being too gory. Luke Wilson, I thought, did a fine acting job as a man who is really scared knowing he and his wife are trapped in this motel run by psychos and who is trying to find a way out to save himself and his wife. In other words, it was nice seeing a man act the way one would in this kind of a situation and not like John Wayne or Sylvester Stallone in their "I got it covered mode". Kate Beckinsale is also good. Frank Whaley is creepy enough!! All in all, if you like suspenseful movies; this should do it for you!!...more info
- The Fantastic Mr. Fox & Wife Get a Room for the Night
"Vacancy" is not your average thriller/slasher film. To the untrained eye, it provides nearly an hour and a half of Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale just trying to stay alive in a sleaze-bag motel while being constantly harassed by the unknown locals. The film seems to follow a structure, it seems to be predictable, but then - it transforms into something diabolically more. "Vacancy" is one of those undercut films that blends the power of a modern Hitchcock with just the right twists to keep new audiences on the edge of their seat. "Vacancy", upon watching it a second time, is more than just slash and grab; it is a cineophile dream come true.
In the modern world of "Saw", "Hostel" and nearly anything Eli Roth places his name upon, it would be easy to see how this film would be overlooked. It doesn't have a monster, people are not dripping blood in every scene, and (the biggie) there is no major twist at the end. Director Nimrod Antal's sophomore outing is more about the style, the cinematography, and the characters than just your a-typical release of this genre. We are privy to see our characters prior to these horrific incidents, to understand why they are pushed, and despite their ability to just run away from each other, they stay - giving us a great hour and a half. To begin, the opening credits set the tone. Not since "Panic Room" was I stricken by the originality of these credits, and how they propelled me into a immediate state of nervousness. After this, we are welcomed into a car, a already tense filled car that keeps us on the edge of our seats even further. Perhaps Luke and Kate will provide a moment of ease in this ride, but no - quite a different approach than we have seen prior from these two actors - they are in their own zone, and Antal controls it. He makes us believe. He scares us, while never taking us out of that moment of disbelief. This could happen. Antal knows that, Luke and Kate give us realism, and we are set for a wild ride.
The plot was strong - the acting kept up with the chilling score and Frank Whaley proves that skinny nerds can be frightening. Whaley commands the time he has on screen, giving us small nuances of this character that others may have forgotten. Known mainly for lower-budget roles, "Vacancy" demonstrates what happens when small actors get good parts (with great directors.). Finally, one cannot discuss "Vacancy" without drooling over the cinematography. Briefly mentioned above, Antal has paid homage to Hitchcock in a grandiose way by giving us these early shots of our characters not in the foreground, but symbolically traveling along the open highway. For the first hour, prior to the desperate need to escape, there were filmed moments that just stood out - i.e. the car ride, the discovery of the tapes, the walk to the motel, and even near the end - with the shot of Kate looking through the cracks resonated early Hitch. This is what small attention to detail can do for your film.
"Vacancy" is worth a second viewing, and even a third - it impresses me that I like Luke and Kate in their roles, and Whaley hits his mark directly. Antal's choice of music, cinematography, and leads prove his ability behind the camera, giving us a new twist to a genre that at times feels dated and recycled. I would recommend this film for a good fright - don't believe it is just another product of the Hollywood machine - it stands tall and proud.
Grade: **** ? out of *****
- Well put together but pointless slasher flick
Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale put in decent performances in this claustrophobic slasher movie. The first 20 minutes establish them as a couple on the brink of a failed marriage, who have got lost on the way back from a visit to parents. They end up staying at a seedy motel, but they soon find the room is not going to give them any rest - the slasher movies in the video player in the room appear to be real, and take place in the same room they are in, and it soon becomes clear they are to be the unwilling stars of the next one.
There are some genuine thrills and the whole thing is put together quite efficiently. It is not as graphic as some of the torture movies proliferating these days, and better for it. However, there is a nagging feeling that the first 20 minutes discovering who this couple are, is the most interesting part of the movie. For the slasher parts, there is a nagging feeling of pointlessness.
That aside, if its nasty slasher thrills you are after, then go ahead. For dramatic substance, apply elsewhere.
- Better than I expected
An argueing couple have car trouble and end up agreeing to stay in a creepy, empty motel overnight. Once they get there they discover a stack of very low budget slasher movies. It's not long before they notice that the room the movies take place in looks an awful lot like the room that they are staying in in the motel...and that there are hidden camera's in the room...
I liked this movie, it was very suspenceful throughout, from about twenty minutes into the movie, the protagonists are constantly in peril, tryin to escape from a bunch of killer in the motel (there are also killers waiting outside, so they cannot leave) via secret passages, crawl spaces and under ground tunnels.
No that gory and the ending is quite strange, but overall a good movie. I enjoyed it and thought it was better than most reviews suggested....more info
- Catch as catch can fun!!
It's a bit cliched, but with most horror films nowadays that's to be expected. This is a pretty good movie for what it is. It's fairly suspenseful, it has decent acting(for a horror film)and serves its function to keep you entertained for the most part. If you like horror films you could do far worse than this flick....more info
- Is that a knock i hear ?
In the 2006 movie "When a stranger calls" with Camilla Belle, it was the phone ringing or her calling someone every 30 seconds. In "Vacancy" it was the knocks and pounding on the walls and doors that made me want to turn this movie off. Then of course it was the cell phone that didn't work when you needed it most or having to get out of the Hotel room NOW but oh, what ever you do to get out, don't break out the bathroom window that is nailed shut ! Maybe i'm just too picky, but this movie is full of holes and not much surprised me when i watched it. Might be the worst movie i ever saw Kate Beckinsale in ( and the only one ). Either way, i would highly recommend watching it first before you buy it....more info
- Sick, Sophomoric and Stupid
Title says it all. It's really sad that Kate Beckinsale would degrade herself by appearing in this voyeuristic tripe. And if the film is not enough, the DVD includes extended snuff scenes for your viewing pleasure. Entirely predictable, no twists that couldn't be seen a mile away, a complete rip off of far, far better films.
The highway wasn't the only thing they left to find themselves at this motel: any acting, plot or character development, directing or photography must still be on that highway.
Kate says it best in the film, "This has to be some kind of joke, right?"...more info
- "That Room On The Tape Looks Awfully Familiar...Even Though We JUST Got Here..."
Caught this one off cable recently and honestly I wasn't all that impressed. Wilson and Beckinsale do an adequate job as the broken-hearted couple who's marriage is crumbling after the death of their child, but what got me most about this film is the various degrees of illogical plot points running throughout it. Sure, as a Hitchcockian thriller it does a good job of emulating that eras feel, but in placing that type of film in present-day make sure you have your characters act accordingly. For example, if you were an inn-keeper who secretly killed various guests in a violent invasion style solely for the puropse of filming it to sell snuff films, why in the world would you leave some of the tapes in that room for the future victims to be warned? And if you saw a bunch of cameras in your room's airvents after those tapes, wouldn't you rip them off the walls in shock and anger? Though logic aside, this is a decent middle-of-the-road thriller with a couple of interesting scenes, but with a somewhat let-down "see, I'm okay after all" ending. Yes Frank Whaley does come off in this flix as Norman Bates-like, but could probably have pushed the limits a little more, and I'm still surprised that each new viewer of those tapes can recognize that they're in the same motel room just in seconds, even though they just got there. Rent it/Cable.
(RedSabbath Rating:7.0/10)...more info
- Everything was great...except for the ending...
This is definitely not a movie to watch all by yourself. This is the kind of movie you watch when you wonder if everything has already been done, and nothing will scare you anymore. Who needs ghosts, devil worshiping murderers, or any kind of the supernatural when you have good old fashioned realistic type of events that COULD happen to you?
Amy and David got off the interstate (BIG mistake) and found that they were having car trouble. Since the mechanics had all gone home for the night, they decided to stay overnight in a creepy motel, since there was nothing else around. The place was run by an equally creepy manager, played by Frank Whaley, who I haven't seen since In the Company of Men.
Even though the hotel was quite dirty and run down, the couple starts to finally relax when someone keeps banging on, not only the door to their room, but the door to the neighboring room. As everyone does in a scary movie, you hear crazy sounds, you investigate, even if you shouldn't. In between trying to find out who is attempting to break in and planning an escape route, David notices some tapes on top of the VCR. Every tape he checks out has people being attacked and killed. Strangely, they all take place in the same room, which is starting to look very familiar...
What follows is an adrenaline filled thrill ride with lots of action, and a few plot holes. VACANCY is a short movie (85 mins) which leaves no extra time for love making scenes or nudity, which some horror film directors feel is necessary to keep us interested. There is no need. This is the kind of movie that leaves you yelling at the screen and discussing with company would YOU would do in that situation. Though I thought that the ending was somewhat weak, I think that the rest of the movie makes up for it. VACANCY 2 will be coming in 2009, and even though it will probably be like a lot of other sequels, that's not going to stop me from watching it.
Recommended if you need a little adventure that will keep you checking the locks and windows for the night.
Now although this story has been used before, this did not feel all that familiar. Add to that the performances by Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale are quite good and you have a decent thriller. The killers although convincing were nothing to write home about. I still give it three and half stars. So if you have seen one to many "Saws", pop this in the DVD player. A married couple find themselves lost on a back road and exhausted. Finding gas and a motel becomes a challenge. When they finally find them, they may regret it the rest of their lifes which may be quite short since their room is rigged with cameras to video snuff movies. Good quality DVD with some replayability. If you enjoyed this catch "The Hitcher".
CA Luster...more info
- One of the most pointless movies I have ever seen
I can't believe I just sat through this whole movie only to discover there is absolutely no point. I am a big fan of both Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale and I am surprised that both of them chose to be in this movie. Is there suspense? A little bit. Is is predictable? Totally. I feel completely cheated for sticking it out and wasting my time watching a bunch of gross, sick, twisted violence for such a crappy ending. I highly recommend not wasting your time watching this movie. This is the type of movie a high school kid could write up on a bad day. Unreal, it was that terrible. Do not watch this movie. It is pathetic that it was even made. This is a totally honest review, no holds barred. A total piece of junk movie. ...more info
- "Creepy" is an oft-used term to review this film. I would agree...
Strong actors Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale are engaging enough to hold the interest of viewers. Additionally, the atmosphere and supporting cast add up to an entertaining "horror" diversion. Take Frank Whaley as the motel's manager--very shifty character. And Ethan Embry's happy-go-lucky mechanic is just a cover for what he is later revealed to be. Add to that the element of "snuff" films, and you have an unsettling movie that takes place at a trademark horror setting--one dilapidated motel. Good for suspense, but lacks on gore and jolts....more info
For a major Hollywood film, this movie was pretty short. The hour and twenty minutes watching this film felt more like two hours. It had a good idea-couple gets side tracked and need a place to stay for the night. They find a hotel; They enter it and a woman is screaming her lungs out. Yet, they stay anyways. The manager is a pyscho ala Norman Bates, who with a few other guys, kills the guests and makes snuff films of it to sell to some people. It does sound like a heck of a film, if it was made by someone else. Probably better as a straight to dvd horror film. This one felt too restrained and by the books. They didnt go out of the way to do anything speical, but I did like what happened towards the end. Overall, if you like straight up Hollywood horror film check this out.
Hollywood Horror-Pictures made for release in theaters to the public. Semi big names, mostly teen actors who are hot at the moment, and alot of them lately are PG-13 movies. They will come out as unrated with scary stuff or so they claim. ...more info
- Worth A Look
Vacancy stars Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale as a bickering couple, who are forced to stay in a run down motel, when their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. Their problems start when they have booked into the motel and are in their shabby room. There, they start to watch a video, of what seems to be a bad horror movie. However, to their suprise, they realise not only are the movies real, but have been filmed in the very room they are now staying in!
I found this movie full of suspense, as the couple realise they have to escape the motel, asap, and have to 'think on their feet'. There is not much by way of character development, or plot twists in the film, but the story never really flagged, and kept me interested throughout. Worth a look....more info
- You Can't Check Out!
Here's yet another homage to that grand old classic, l960's "Psycho," although this is a movie that Alfred Hitchcock would never recognize. Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale portray the usual couple who are planning to divorce or separate. You never find happy couples in these motel movies. Anyway, after their car breaks down, they check into a strange room in a remote motel. The room just happens to be the site of a butcher room where snuff films are made. At least this is an original idea.
Luke Wilson does a terrific job as the heroic, courageous man who battles a tiny army of killers and psychos who are determined to make him and his wife their latest victims. Kate Beckinsale has the thankless job of being the usual helpless, cringing, fragile woman who depends on her "man" for protection and security. Only towards the end does she show any signs of courage. You would think that after Sigourney Weaver made movie history in the "Alien" movies where she ferociously kicked major butt, that our days of seeing delicate, cringing, shrieking female heroines were over with. But, much like the female in "The Strangers" she's just a cowering, whining, shrieking blob of jello. You would thinks she'd pick up anything heavy to help her husband in his life and death battle with the killers. At the end, we're asked to believe that her husband does something so unbelievable that we're asked to believe it.
Despite these shortcomings, this film is reasonably entertaining and you can be sure that there are several sequels already being planned....more info
- Creepy, but good
I liked this movie. Had me on the edge, and gave me the creeps because of the "omg, THAT could happen" factor. ...more info
- excellent plot, good acting
The plot is intriguing, not predictable yet not so complex one gets tangled in the twists. A fifties era motel provides nostalgia and the acting is superb. Excess foul language and violence detract but do not spoil the movie. One finds themself caring what happens next. Unfortunately the picture lacks quality music, costumes, makeup and comic relief. Still it is worth seeing. ...more info
- Entertaining, plenty scary --- could have been even better
Think of Psycho as Kindergarten . . . then think of Vacancy as being 10th Grade.
Couple checks into isolated motel. The management has a side business going, making "snuff films". You get the idea. Very high on the creepy-meter scale.
Some great ideas, such as the video left in their Room #4 so the victim couple can see their "future". Realistic interplay between the couple regarding the disintegrating relationship. I loved the little creep playing Norman Bates' counterpart as the motel clerk. Perfect. Despite the seriously violent/perverted theme at play here, there was actually a minimum of really disturbing gratuitous extreme sicko acts or flesh shots(considering that, unfortunately, most of us consider stock Hollywood shooting, strangulation and mayhem to be not very disturbing).
I thought the director often had great tension and impending doom building, and unnecessarily let it slip away in favor of some basic violent conclusion. The Hollywood violence doesn't bother me, but some Hitchcockian suspense makes for a superior movie. This one had many great ideas which became missed opportunities.
Still, a very entertaining and suspenseful flick that will probably have even jaded suspense/horror junkies squirming in their chair a bit. Turn down the lights and enjoy!
- Don't Become A Star In Your Own Snuff Film! Stay On The Interstate!
After watching horror films like "Wrong Turn," you'd think that American drivers would stop taking shortcuts when traveling through the boonies. Stay on the interstate! Obviously, David Fox (Luke Wilson of "Henry Poole is Here" and "3:10 to Yuma") hasn't learned this. After him and his gorgeous wife Amy (Kate Beckingsale of "Van Helsing" and the "Underworld" trilogy) take a shortcut, their car breaks down near an isolated "Psycho"-like motel where tourists check in but they don't check out. In their "honeymoon suite," they pass the time by whining, complaining and watching low budget slasher flicks. Soon they realize that these flicks are all being filmed in the same room as their own. There is loud pounding on the doors and the fiendish nightmare begins. Will they escape this hotel from Hell?
Reminiscent of such classic drive-in horror movies as "Hotel Hell" and "Mountaintop Motel Massacre, "Vacancy" is highly suspenseful. Wilson and Beckingsale make a very adorable couple whose marriage is in trouble. Having lost their toddler son, Charlie, they are non-communicative and hostile towards one another. However, their relationship strengthens and their love increases as they struggle to survive this grueling night. Performances from Beckingsale and Wilson are believable and touching. You will cheer for them as they flee the maniacs who are determined to film their deaths. Frank Whaley gives a great performance as the evil, psychotic hotel clerk, Mason. You want the pervert to die so badly.
"Vacancy" is highly recommended for those who love horror films involving tourists who are preyed upon by serial killers. Recommended classics from the eighties are "Tourist Trap," "Hotel Hell," and "Mountaintop Motel Massacre." The last one, like "Vacancy," also involves the usage of underground tunnels. Modern horror movies you may want to check out are "House of Wax," "Turistas" and "The Ruins."
- Nice addition to 21st century suspense/horror...
Vacancy is the best stalk/slash at a motel film since 1960's Psycho. But you will not find anyone staying here that is hiding out after stealing money from her employer, and you will not find a motel manager who keeps his mother's corpse in the fruit cellar while he dresses up like her. Vacancy offers a nice change after the countless remakes and torture films like Saw filling the theatres these days. I would not categorize it as strictly horror but more as a suspense film in the realm of Hitchcock. There is not much blood and gore and that's okay with me. If that is what you are seeking, look elsewhere. If you would like to be entertained and on the edge of your seat for 80 minutes, you will like this. Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson do a good job. It's nice seeing characters who seem real with problems and a history together rather than the usual annoying, disposable ones ever so present in other horror films. The soundtrack for Vacancy in the opening and closing credits is also really neat and catchy. Vacancy will not go down as a classic but is a worthy addition to any DVD library. I would also recommend the recent suspense/horror film P2 by Alexandre Aja which uses a confined setting like Vacancy or if you want to go further back, I always like to refer people to the thriller Road Games starring Stacy Keach and Jamie Lee Curtis....more info
- A New Horror Classic!!!
This movie was pretty creepy. It kind of reminds me of Psycho, but without Norman and the shower scene. A couple who lost their son and about to get a divorce gets lost in the middle of a small town and have to stay at a hotel. The hotel's manager and other town's people are the makers of snuff films. When Luke Wilson and sexy Kate Beckinsale find out, they try to escape at any means possible. I highly recommend VACANCY!!! ...more info
- Great Beckinsale Acting Chops, Great Suspense
Excellent acting by Becksinale propels this thriller forward as a taut, suspense filled story that may be predictable but is none-the-less satisfying. Although not wholly realistic, there is enough here to make something like this actually probable in real life; therefore, very chilling in that regard....more info
- Excellent, a really suspensful and entertaining thriller !
This is one heck of a thrilling movie! It starts off a bit slow initially only to really pick up a frantic pace right from the moment the couple hears that knock on their door in the motel.
Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson play the married couple well who up until getting to the motel had their relationship in a crisis. But soon have other things to do, like staying alive, once they checked into that motel, because their car broke down in the middle of the night. I don't want to give away the story, but if you haven't seen it then go ahead, because this movie will keep you on the edge of your sit, since its full of suspense and some rather unexpected things coming your way.
This was certainly one of the best thrillers of the year. ...more info
- good movie
Vacancy two was not as good as the 1st... but movie arrived quickly and no scratches, no dents.. played excellent...more info
- Smart, psychological, big budget suspense
This is one of the most interesting and artistically competent american horror movies I've seen in quite some time (that wasn't a remake/reboot). Plus, it's scary. The last horror film I really remember in this vein was "30 Days of Night" (with its moody existentialism that caught me completely unawares).
Unlike that film though, this one is starkly realistic. Arguably because of that, it's more of a suspense film than a horror film. There is very little gore in the film (it may disappoint splatter fans), but it is extremely suspenseful.
Even though you read the back of the box with its description of a couple whose car breaks down, and decide to stay in a shady motel and think, "Oh God, this premise has been done to death," - the movie feels fresh. It doesn't play out at all like the run of the mill American slasher. It's closer to "Wait Until Dark" or some of the Hitchcock films. It has a simple premise, but it has good acting, a great script and decent direction. It also feels believable. No superpowers. No intricate scheme. No scooby doo ending. This is probably the most disturbingly real film since 8mm.
The script of this film really surprised me. There is a significant amount of psychological depth to the relationship between the two main characters. There's a level of characterization that is really very rare in horror movies. It makes the whole experience feel more immediate. It also makes the experience a bit deeper than the usual hack 'n slash because of the abundance of parallels between the plot and the subplot.
Highly recommended for horror fans (as long as you realize it's not a splatter film) and people who like good movies, in general (but get turned off by gore)....more info