The Yankee Pedlar Inn is not an average accommodation in Connecticut. The employees don’t always remember to bring towels to the room. And ““ it’s haunted.
The thriller “The Innkeepers” introduces Yankee Pedlar employees Luke (Pat Healy) and Claire (Sara Paxton) during their last weekend at the inn before it is shut down.
The two are determined to find out if the place is crawling with spirits. During their paranormal search they discover more than they can handle.
With the help of Leanne (Kelly McGillis), a current guest who is a TV-star-turned healer, Claire makes contact with the spirits living in the inn.
Claire’s eagerness to find the ghost of a former guest who died in the basement lands her in a situation in which no one can help her.
Like most thrillers, once Claire and Luke begin to search around the halls, faint noises and images of a female ghost in a wedding dress start to appear.
The scene in which Claire tries to contact the spirits in the dining room leads her to hear a song playing on the piano in the empty front lobby.
The score that plays as Claire walks toward the lobby is very engaging and builds the tension until she reaches the piano.
It does not come off corny but rather eerie and creepy as two keys on the piano are pressed by someone who can’t be seen. Paxton and Healy make a good duo and are likable but very naive, as is usually the case when it comes to horror movies.
They are hilarious with their lazy demeanor and quirky quips with each other. It is not really apparent how old Paxton’s character is, but Luke is attracted to her, and he does not appear to be young at all.
Healy’s nonchalant attitude and snarky one-liners keep the film entertaining. The comedic relief of the nerdy pair adds lightheartedness in between suspenseful moments.
The funniest scene takes place in the coffee shop down the street. As Claire tries to order a drink, the barista divulges her whole life to her before Claire can even get her coffee.
It’s refreshing to see a horror film that is not filled with an ensemble of hormonal raging teenagers looking for a fun night of partying.
Director Ti West does a good job building up tension and temporarily keeping the audience on the edge of their seats, especially when Claire and Luke search the basement that Leanne warns them not to enter.
This scene stands out from typical horror films because West takes his time developing suspense through Claire’s point of view rather than quick shots between multiple characters running from an unseen entity.
The film, however, still lacks in the area of holding onto the audience’s fear with only flashes of spirits in the inn.
For the most part, the film was unable to keep the audience completely terrified, but it was almost successful during the discovery of one of the last guests at the inn in a bathtub of his own blood. The spirits were not terrifying but rather just a nuisance that needed a time-out.
Despite the need for more suspense, the film presents a sinister narrative that captures a classic take on the horror genre.
““ Brittany Taylor
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