The Innkeepers

Paranormal Checks In


27 January 2012| No Comments on The Innkeepers     by Sean Chavel


Another ghost story, this one elevated by some offbeat banter. The Innkeepers is built around a closing New England hotel open for one last weekend, with its remaining two employees Claire (Sara Paxton, tomboy) and Luke (Pat Healy, nerd with glasses) spending their time recording “paranormal” videos for a low budget website. These actors share the kind of bond you would find in a Kevin Smith movie. But you side with the plucky Claire more than with the cowardly and cravenly Luke. Of course, Claire is the first one to discover that ghosts really exist. And that they want something. Unexpectedly low-key, this flick is less likely to serve the casual moviegoer than it is for the specialized cinephile groups looking for teasing slow build-ups. As a dedicated horror fan’s diversion, it’s OK.

For arbitrary reasons, “The Innkeepers” is divided into three chapters and an epilogue. Claire and Luke take turns working the reception desk, but mostly share each other’s company for which they joke around. Luke plays scary pranks on Claire. He then introduces his website, a future cash cow of course, which has a faux paranormal video but little else. At this final weekend of business, Luke challenges Claire to audiotape strange sounds and videotape any bumps in the night if they can be caught on film. Among the guests checked is Leanne Rease-Jones (Kelly McGillis, grey hair), a television actress and budding psychic. Upon request, Leanne contacts the dead and then informs Claire, “Do not go down to the basement.” Of course, Curious Claire does.

The third chapter titled with the ominous promise “One Last Guest” has its spine-tickling moments. Technically, it’s done fairly well by devoted genre director Ti West (“The House of the Devil”). Then it sets us up for one last final twist, with roving camerawork and indicative dialogue that it’s going to be a whopper. Eh, it’s alright. It decently honors the tradition of ghost stories. But it doesn’t accomplish anything new.

110 Minutes. Rated R.


Film Cousins: “The Innocent” (1961); “Poltergeist” (1982); “What Lies Beneath” (2000); “The Others” (2001).

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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.


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