Two friends working during the last few days of the Yankee Pedlar Inn are determined to get proof the place is haunted before it closes.
Another great one from director Ti West. He really knows how to make these great, personal little horror films for relatively no money. It amazes me that he can make movies that look this good, while the Asylum will make a movie for the same amount that looks so bad.
The movie revolves around Sara Paxton, Pat Healy, and a few of the guests who are staying in the hotel. Fascinated with ghost hunter shows, Paxton and Healy have been trying to get proof that the stories about the hotel being haunted are real.
As with “The House of the Devil,” this is another slow moving film, although the additional cast helps to move the film at a brisker pace.
A large part of what made this film scary is the audio. The sound design in this is terrific and is much more effective than the cliche of having things fly at the screen to startle you. In this, you’ll hear all sorts of creaks, scratches, groans, and voices that go from one side to the other…all kinds of things to make you uneasy. When the movie starts, the bluray even says the film should be played loudly (not sure if that is on the DVD or not).
The chemistry between the two leads helps to make the film work. They play well off each other, and you have no problem believing that they have been friends and coworkers for ages. They joke back and forth, and their dialog is quite enjoyable. The chemistry works even better once the creepy stuff starts happening because you really feel that these two genuinely care about each other.
This is a horror film that isn’t about the body count. It is more interested in making you feel uncomfortable during the night scenes and then laugh during the day sequences. Over the course of the film, you feel like you are watching some old friends interact and then have a good scare.
If you think movies like “The Roommate” are scary and “Paranormal Activity” is slow and dumb, you won’t like this. If you do enjoy an old school ghost story that revolves around characters and the noises that go bump in the night, you’ll like this.
So relax, pay attention, turn up the volume, and enjoy.