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RELEASED: 2007, Cert. 15
RUNNING TIME: Approx. 85 mins
DIRECTOR: Nimrod Antal
PRODUCER: Hal Lieberman
SCREENPLAY: Mark L Smith
MUSIC: Paul Haslinger
Luke Wilson as David Fox
Kate Beckinsale as Amy Fox
Frank Whaley as Mason
FILM ONLY REVIEW
David and Amy are driving somewhere late at night, and for some reason David decides to veer off the highway and take an unfamiliar route which he hopes will be quicker. After driving for some while, the tank gets low on petrol, so he pulls in at a very remote filling station. Whilst there and finding the place closed, the proprietor who is still hanging around, advises David and Amy to drive to another station about 20 miles along the road.
After travelling for just a short while, the car runs out of petrol, so David and Amy walk back to the filling station to see if the proprietor can help them further, and once there, they spot a motel next door and decide to see if they can spend the night there.
The motel is run by a strange man, and there don't seem to be any other guests. Whilst waiting to be booked in, David and Amy hear the sounds of screaming coming from behind the reception desk, but it turns out to be a video that the odd man is watching.
The man shows David and Amy to a very tatty, dirty room which Amy is horrified by, but David assures her they only have to spend a few hours there sleeping, then they'll be on their way.
As David and Amy try to settle for the night, they are disturbed by a strange, very loud banging noise coming from the next room. Also, when there is a knock on the door and David goes to answer it, nobody is there.
Feeling a little uneasy, David notices a pile of VHS tapes, so he plays one, hoping it'll be something to watch that will help him sleep. When the video starts to play, both he and Amy are horrified to see it is a film of the very room they are in, with various people being brutally tortured and abused.
It is then that it becomes obvious not all is right at the motel, as when David tries to complain about the noise to the man at reception, he finds him of no help, being told that he (David) and Amy are the only guests at the motel.
Sensing they could be in danger, David and Amy have to hatch an escape plan which isn't as simple, due to them having temporarily abandoned their car with an empty fuel tank.
Although the above seems a lengthy précis, it merely sets the scene for all that follows in the film.
Straight away, it is obvious that David and Amy aren't getting on too well together, and as they are driving, their conversation indicates they are on the verge of divorcing. There is reference to a bereavement, which judging by the dialogue, I assume they have lost a child.
I really didn't like the character of Amy at all, as I found her to be scratchy, hostile and not very nice to David who seems really easy-going and nice. However, Kate Beckinsale did play Amy's part very well, as did Luke Wilson convey the part of David, a soon to be ex-husband trying to civil and nice to his soon to be ex-wife.
As the storyline progresses and various things happen, Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson work superbly together, bouncing off one another almost as if were made for their parts. I was particularly impressed by their facial expressions as they flung little digs in one another's direction, each not particularly wanting to be with the other but are forced together by circumstance, yet when they find themselves in possible danger, are able to cohere and support one another well.
My overall favourite cast member though was Frank Whaley who played the part of Mason, the strange motel receptionist/manager. He managed to project one of those personalities whereby when you meet someone, although they look fairly normal, there is something about them you can't quite put your finger on that isn't right. Mason as a motel manager doesn't quite slot into the Norman Bates category as he is less initially accommodating than Bates, but he for me excelled in this role, coming across as a little odd around the edges to begin with, that aura increasing in severity as the film progresses.
The music to Vacancy I found to be a little over the top, it being a mixture of high-tension, dramatic orchestral which in parts wanders off into something more avant-garde. On my copy of the DVD, the sound levels for the speech of the cast is set quite low, and I found at certain points during the film, the music drowned out a little of what the actors were saying.
The atmosphere is very well set right from the start of Vacancy, exuding a sinister aura where the tension continues to mount once David and Amy realise they are shacked up for the night in what probably is the motel from hell.....an old-fashioned place, dark, gloomy, tattily furnished, dirty, grimy and run by a person whose behaviour seems disturbingly unpredictable. The tension between David and Amy as a soon to be divorced couple is also very well put across.
However, from about the halfway point in Vacancy, although I didn't lose interest, I found my boredom levels increasing as I found David's and Amy's efforts to extricate themselves from what was happening and make a getaway, to be predictable, as in essence, such really isn't all that different to any other film where people are trying to escape from something. I'm not sure what could have put a spark into that second half of Vacancy other than perhaps a move away from the 'norm' and to have written a storyline which is different to all the others.
There were a couple of points within Vacancy where I jumped slightly, but they happened during the first half of the film when the tension was rising high. It was very good though to see something in this genre which contains not absolute zero, but very minimal levels of blood and other grisly stuff.
Overall, I probably would recommend Vacancy as especially during the earlier part, it is quite gripping, its overall advantage for me being a very well set atmosphere that up until the creepier parts get underway, is very realistic and true to life. This film would probably appeal to fans of horror/adventure, although I'd urge not to expect anything stunningly original once the action gets underway. I'm not sorry I saw Vacancy as it is a well-acted, atmospheric and well constructed film which initially has a sinister feel to it, but I don't think I'd re-visit for second helpings....although were it from mid-point onwards more interesting, I just might.
At the time of writing, Vacancy can be purchased on Amazon as follows:-
New: from £1.00 to £23.97
Used: from 1p to £7.99
Collectible: only one copy currently available @ £1.92
Some items on Amazon are available for free delivery within the UK, but where this doesn't apply, a £1.26 charge should be added to the above figures.
Thanks for reading!
~~ Also published on Ciao under my CelticSoulSister user name ~~
Film Only Review:
Amy (Kate Beckinsdale) and David (Luke Wilson) are an estranged couple traveling together. There marriage is falling apart through Kate's pill popping and inability to confront the situation in her head about a very close death they both experienced and they are on the way back home from a family do of keeping up appearances of their marriage when they break down in the middle of nowhere. They end up needing to stay somewhere over night.
After finding a grubby motel in the middle of nowhere the warring or words couple stay after trying to sort out their motor which has completely cracked up after talking to the very odd hotel manager who is watching some sort of loud screaming horror in the back room upon their arrival.
After a few minutes of being in their 'Honeymoon suite' things take a turn from the worst with very loud banging from next door where apparently it turns out no ones is staying and knocks on the door. Phone calls, to which no one speaks and a red colour water out of the taps..... they soon start to feel very on edge indeed.
From then on in the question is are they being watched? Why are there videos in the room horror style and looking familiar. Is this all coincidence and nerves or are people out to get them for some reason?
I found this 85 minute running time in total film rather boring actually. Deemed to be of the horror genre I was a bit apprehensive of watching this alone in my flat late night and am easily scared so almost didn't watch it all however it failed to make me jump even the once! The soundtrack was unmemorable, the acting from the two main characters (Kate and David) was wooden and the only actors performance any good was that of the manager played by Frank Whaley who really did come across as sleazy.
Special effects were ok though there wernt many of them, the premise of the story was good too but it came with a predictable ending.
The film for me, as a 15 was rather tame. There was plenty of swearing in it and a bit of blood and basically although this is meant to be a horror for me focused more on the couple and it really didn't hit any kind of mark for me sadly!
This is a 15 rated film and I guess thats about right but if you fancy seeing it in my opinion this is an only watch once type of film so rent it if not it can be picked up from Amazon for a couple of quid!
Film Duration: 81 minutes
Director: Nimrod Antal
Country: United States
Kate Beckinsale as Amy Fox
Luke Wilson as David Fox
Frank Whaley as Mason
The story is about married couple David and Amy who have some difficulties in their marriage. They go by car to the house of the parents of Amy for a visit, but have a problem with their car. They try to make the car first, but David decides to continue driving. A bad decision because the car breaks down and they have to continue on foot. They find a motel and decide to spend the night. The motel looks old and run down, but will have to do for the night. Unfortunately the television is not working, but luckily they find a videotape in the room. They are curious and start playing the tape, but soon they wish they never would have stayed at this place and the question is more will they survive the night?
You have two main actors namely Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale, not unknown actors. They do well in this film and are believable in their acting. Unfortunately the film only lasts 81 minutes, so you don't really get the time to really get to know the characters. You know they have marital problems, but that's basically everything. Too bad, because that gives both little chance to really show what they have to offer. They are credible in their acting and good enough for the movie.
There are a number of extras on the DVD including an alternative opening of the film. This has little added value for me and unfortunately there is no commentary from the director, so you don't even know why they didn't choose for the other opening scene. In addition, there is an making of the movie, where you get a look behind the scenes. Furthermore there is an extra that goes into the videotape tape that they watch in the beginning of the movie. You see all the scenes filmed, takes about 9 minutes. The last one are deleted scene what is fun to watch and some trailers of other films.
I think this is a very good thriller and I certainly watch it throughout the movie anxiously. Perhaps the idea behind the story is unoriginal, but they way they filmed it is very well done. The tension is well built and continues throughout the film. The performances are good and the actors are credible with their fear and struggle to survive. Definitely recommended!
Stars - Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson
Run-Time - 85 minutes
Rated - 15
Vacancy, as far as modern day horror goes, jams the gears quickly into reverse, a retro journey to the bad old days of formulaic 1970s stuff. First you have to get your main protagonists up and running, here a bickering couple, and then quickly distance them from modern technology, that of the internet, cell phones and IPods that make horror films very difficult to make credible these days, killing that essential ingredient of isolation and so vulnerability, a motel straight from the redneck backwaters of Alabama the chosen kitsch and claustrophobic location, positively brimming with horror clichés.
This is not a slasher or a supernatural trip but a bit of nostalgia. In the 1970's there was something called a 'snuff movie', a legend if the truth be told, VHS tapes passed around the underworld showing real murders and rapes of real people, bits hacked off in both, the ultimate horror taboo. No one really knew if they existed but in this day and age it seems highly likely they do, and did, with the amount of sicko's out there we see in the news every week. So the idea of a horror movie on the topic kind of appealed in the modern day setting as it hasn't been done before in the mainstream for a while, although I'm sure our resident horror movie fans will reel off a long list of them. Having sexy Kate Beckinsale in there also helped me make my choice. I'm not sure how attractive the ladies find Luke Wilson, brother of naughty boy Owen, but he's your eye candy.
Kate Beckinsale ... Amy Fox
Luke Wilson ... David Fox
Frank Whaley ... Mason
Ethan Embry ... Mechanic
Scott G. Anderson ... Killer
Mark Casella ... Truck Driver
David Doty ... Highway Patrol
Andrew Fiscella ... Steven R
Amy (Kate Beckinsale) and David (Luke Wilson) Fox are a bickering couple driving back home overnight after another miserable weekend. Whilst Amy is snoozing David turns off the freeway and takes a short cut, soon getting lost, soon in desperate need of a gas station as the roads get narrower and the road kill piles up. In America you never turn off the freeway to look for petrol, especially in a horror film. When they do find a garage the mechanic is only too pleased to point the couple to a nearby motel.
At the said motel the openly seedy owner (Frank Whaley) offers them a room for the night, the motel seemingly empty so plenty of them, ominous screams coming from a VCR in the reception office suggesting its going to be a long night, this establishment probably not in the guide books. But it's a bed for the night and with a TV in the room they settle down to grab some shuteye.
Sleep, of course, is not on the menu and some loud intimidating banging on the door and walls and repeated phone calls suggest this was a bad idea. When they try the VCR player the situation gets far worse, quickly becoming apparent that the pile of nasty movies on the TV are snuff movies and shot in their room, they clearly the star of the next movie. With their car sabotaged and no other guests they must act quickly to stay alive, the local cop unable to help as masked men block every escape route in the motel shadows.
All the clichés are here guys, although I suppose that's the point. The strong casting pair of Wilson and Beckinsale gets you guys to pick this off the rack but not really adding anything to the tension and impending doom with their acting style, from what feeble tension and gore there is. The bad guys are pretty violent and mean business and so give the film a clear sadistic visceral edge and so a surprise this kept a 15 certificate. Guys, this is not suitable for younger kids in any way as there is a really real nasty undertone to it. There's definitely an R Restricted movie here somewhere but it's sadly in the extras, there the uncut snuff movies sequence hidden away in the special features, very nasty stuff and perhaps why this film needed a big cut to even get a mainstream release and so leaving it with the only option of a 15.
To me this is a short story at best, reminding me a lot of 1408 with John Cusak, also about residents trapped in hotel rooms and both narratives stretched out too far for cinema. You know the stars are probably not going to die in both these films and so why do we need 85 minutes to find that out if? Fair play to director Nimrod Antal for regenerating a long lost sadistic horror legend in these PC times but to me he got indecisive and daren't make the film that he needed to, going for mainstream box office return instead, stuck in the middle of the artistic control argument no doubt. The Hungarian director did a fabulous little subtitled dark movie called 'Kontrol' and he could have scored big here with a more niche but scarier and sadistic film to grow his reputation. I also didn't like the way he tees up the sequel at the end which is not only arrogant it kills the tempo of the movie. But with $35 million dollars back from the $19 million dollar budget it did ok as a Friday night flick and so the sequel did get made. The only small mercy is first choice actress Sarah Jessica Parker didn't get cast to play Amy...that a real video nasty for sure!
Imdb.com - 6.3 (29, 546 votes)
Radio times Film Book 2010 (4.0/5)
Leonard Maltins Film Book 2010 (2.5/4)
Metacritic - 54% (yellow ok rating)
Rotten Tomatoes - 55%
= = = = Special Features = = = =
- Checkin in -
Cast and crew stuff talking about how great it was to work with each other.
- Masons Video Picks: Snuff Videos -
I have to say these are disturbing to watch in a sick way and so not surprising they couldn't be in the film.
- Alternative Ending -
Still sequel centred...
= = = = = = = = = = =
Vacancy is one of the scariest films I have ever watched, im not a huge horror fan, but my partner talked me into watching it.
Most horror films are really predictable but this is not the case with this fim, I was constantly on edge and just wanted it to end (in a good way) It scared the living daylights out of me.
The film is about a couple who's car breaks down in the middle of no-where, they decide to walk to a Motel they saw on their way past. They feel slightly uncomfortable when checking in but they would never have been able to predict what it was that was so eerie about the Motel.
They decide to watch a bit of telly to try to waste some time and the film on the TV looks exactly like their Motel room. The couple then realise that something bad is going on and when they try to leave they find out that they are trapped and the room is filled with cameras.
It then turns into a chillingly desperate fight for survival..... but will they make it out of the Motel alive?
Luke Wilson as David Fox
Kate Beckinsale as Amy Fox
Frank Whaley as Mason
Ethan Embry as Mechanic
Scott Anderson as Killer
Excellent horror film with spine chilling moments, which will give you restless nights for weeks. The film is really cleverly written by Mark L. Smith and was released in the UK in 2007.
If you like your horror film then you will really enjoy this film, its gory and jumpy and as much as it frightened me I want to watch it again.
This is a great timeless horror flick, directed by Nimrod Antal and starring Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsdale as the young married couple David and Amy who seem to have managed to get themselves lost whilst on a long journey back from Amys parents anniversary party.
The couple have recently lost their son Charlie and have decided they have had enough of each other and are getting divorced.
David has lost his way whilst his wife sleeps in their car and when he swerves to miss a racoon he damages their car, when they happen upon a garage the mechanic takes a look at the engine telling them he has fixed it but a couple of miles down the road they break down and are forced to book into the seedy motel that is next to the garage.
As is usual in these movies there is no cell phone network cover.
When David watches a video that is in the room he realises it has actualy been filmed in the room and is actualy a snuff video.
The couple are soon embroiled in a situation where they realise they could have the starring role in the producers next movie.
Frank Whaley is brilliant as the creepy motel owner.
The film has everything any horror fan could ask for, full of jump out of your skin moments.
82 minutes of pure terror.
They did make a sequal to this(vacancy 2 )but it was not half as good as this one.
When I saw this was being shown on Channel 5 the other night, and with nothing else of any substance being on, I decided to give it a go despite the feeling that it had the potential to be just another thriller. In hindsight, I really wish I hadn't have bothered....
Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale play a couple with their fair share of marital troubles who break down somewhere in the middle of nowhere and are forced to spend a night in a seedy looking motel. They appear to be the only guests and it soon becomes apparent why. The room they are given is amongst the worst in the country with dirty water coming from the taps, resient cockroaches and a bed that looks like it had seen better days sometime in the seventies. Added to that, the T.V doesn't seem to work and you kind of understand why the couple are less than excited about a night under this establishment's roof!!
Thankfully the room appears to have a working video and someone has thoughtfully left a few unmarked tapes in the room for the pair to watch. Unfortunately the subject matter on the tapes all seems to be what has commonly become referred to as "Torture Porn!" In fact it is more than that; these appear to be Snuff movies!! And that room that they all have been shot in seems vaguely familiar.....those curtains, that wallpaper....that bed!!??!
Very quickly, events begin to escalate. Thumps and bangs were earlier heard from the room next door and when the husband complained, he got only mild satisfaction from the Managers response. Now, he begins to suspect that this was just the start, that someone was playing with them, and so plans to lead himself and his wife in an escape from the premises before they can get caught up in what can only be described as somebody's sick fantasy. Unfortunately, they sem to have left it too late. As they go to leave their room, two masked figures emerge from out of the dark parking lot and the husband quickly ascertains that they are not delivering room service....
What follows felt to me like a predictable thriller-by-numbers with lots of supposed tension that basically left me feeling bored and unimpressed. The Director has obviously tried to go more for thrills rather than spills so there is no blood or gore as such and this just seems like a mistake! Talking about this at work the next day, several of us agreed that the Snuff movies the couple watched look more exciting than the action in the main film itself and though I understand the choice to try and distance this movie from the likes of Saw and Hostel, (which rely on ever more shockingly gruesome deaths to keep their audiences interest) at least those movies DO have something to keep your attention on the screen. This was just a rehash of a story concept that we have seen too many times before and the masked villans just invoked in me memories of a Michael Myers clone without feeling in the slightest bit menancing or scary! Even the idea of a deserted Motel has been done to death; most notably originally with Psycho to which there are a few subtle nods here.
I know that there are a few people out there who have enjoyed this but, for me, I actually found the constant advert breaks more scary!
~Running Time~ 1hr 22mins
~Price~ £4.99 approx
~Director~ Nimrod Antal
Amy Fox - Kate Beckinsale,
David Fox - Owen Wilson
Driving home from a recent family even, David and Amy Fox find themselves on the beaten track after David's idea of taking a shortcut home leads him to regret the decision. Finding themselves lost and with car troubles, they end up stopping at a motel in the middle of nowhere. Settled into their room with little to do and no TV channels, David puts on a video he finds in the room. The video, he soon realises is of random people being tortured and attacked in the very room he and Amy are now sat. On realising this, and with no working car, Amy and David find themselves fighting for survival.
As a big fan of horror films, I was pleased that I wasn't disappointed . Not the scariest film I've ever seen, but it certainly got my heart racing. The first part of the movie more or less tells you David and Amys story, from how they lost their young son in an accident, to coming from Amys parents anniversary party having lied to everybody that they're still together. This was a good way of personifying the characters and therefore had you willing them to survive throughout the movie.
The film had a great cat and mouse feel, which did the trick and had me on the edge of my seat.
The only questionable part of the movie is the acting, although these are 2 actors whom normally I enjoy to watch, I couldn't help feeling they were slightly wooden throughout! Although in no way to put me off watching the film, definately one I would recommend.
-Alternate opening sequence
-Extended snuff films
note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room
It is surprising whenever a horror or thriller film skimps on the gore in favour of tension and suspense because it's just so damn rare! Vacancy is one such film, in as much as it dares to build slowly and tempt the viewer but never really deliver on that brutality. While it does have more than a few good points, such as its impressively murky production design, it doesn't go far enough with the sadism and ends up feeling like something that's made for TV despite a good cast, particularly Luke Wilson, who once again plays against type here.
The film revolves around David (Luke Wilson) and Amy Fox (Kate Beckinsale), a couple who take a wrong turn on a road, and in their fluster, pull in to a motel operated by Mason (Frank Whaley). The area is a dead area for mobile phones, and the surrounding landscape is desolate and barren: in short, they're cut off from the rest of the world essentially. When they retire to their room, they find some strange videotapes lying around which appear to be snuff films (that is, films depicting real murder).
Things from here get genuinely quite creepy as we realise that people stop in at the motel to torture and kill hapless couples like themselves, and so they must think fast if they are to survive. The result is not always satisfying, but it is admirable for putting the thrills ahead of arbitrary gore, even if a few nice kills would have been good. The engaging moments are sometimes met by some more boring moments, though, and so it's hard to call this a complete success, especially when the payoff is so rudimentary.
David and Amy Foz are a couple who are looking to get divorced as they constantly argue and are unable to discuss the loss of their child. On their way home from a family gathering, their car breaks down and they have to walk for help. They walk to a garage where they had previously received help and find that no one is there so instead they stay at a creepy motel. The pair are given 'the honeymoon suite' by the freaky manager. As they go to go to bed, Luke puts a film on and after finding that it is sick violence he changes it and puts another film on. This film is the same as the previous film. As he looks closer he realises that the sick film was filmed in the room that he is in with Amy. The pair begin to panic as loud knocks are made on the door. The pair are then taunted for hours as they try to escape from masked men who are all around the motel. Luke then puts Amy in the ceiling so she is safe and sets off to find help so he can save her. He ends up getting caught by the masked men and attacked. Amy the manages to run and steal a car. She drives into the men and manages to shoot the hotel manager. Will Luke be alive and will they manage to rekindle their romance?
David Fox (Luke Wilson) and Amy Fox (Kate Beckinsale) are a married couple on the verge of divorce, and are driving through the night after a family gathering. Trying to save some time by getting off the busy interstate, David narrowly misses hitting a racoon in the middle of a deserted off road and in turn damages the car. As they continue they spot a garage and a mechanic offers to take a look, and reassures them they can make it to the next big town. A mile down the road however, the car breaks down and Amy and David are forced to walk back to the garage to get help. The garage is deserted, and so they try the creepy looking motel next door. Unable to get help that night David and Amy decided to check into the motel, but are in for a shock.
The room is a mess, and very soon loud banging on the front and interlocking doors begins - when David complains to the hotel manager he is told it will be taken care of. Back in the room David finds some videos and puts them on, thinking they are cheaply made horror/slasher films, but before long realises the videos were filmed in the very room they are in, and are REAL murders of previous guests, and they're being watched. With camera's everywhere and the snuffer film makers closing in on them, it's a race against time to find a way out of the room before it's too late.
OK yes, this is slightly cliched you might say. It does has a fair few standard traits you would find in the standard horror film. Of course they get off the interstate. Oh no the car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. Oh there's a creepy motel, with a creepy looking owner, and the motel doesn't look like it's been cleaned in 20 years. But if you put all those thoughts aside, this film does work.
Frank Whalley plays Mason, the motel owner, and he does his creepiness suitably well. OK, you're already suspicious of him the second he appears on screen but he makes Mason into a kind of odd little man, which does make it a little surprising at the end when he gets extremely violent with Amy. And it is also pretty obvious who at least one of the other killers is (creepy garage mechanic anyone?) but still.
During the car ride at the beginning it is implied that Amy and David recently lost their son in some sort of accident - an accident Amy blames herself for. And that this is the reason the couple are getting divorced. Something which it doesn't seem either of them want, but something they are both too proud and stubborn to admit to. This obviously leads to them realising how much they care for one another as the desperate situation unfolds and they only have each other to turn to. After the discovery of the tapes, there is a lot of action in the film - mostly with Luke Wilson, until Kate Beckinsale's quite dramatic scenes at the end, and he does them well. Not really one for playing the action hero, he does a lot of running around, nearly getting smashed to pieces in a phone box, and playing the hero and protector to his wife. He is the one who leads the way, who decides what they are going to do, and the one who is going to save them both. Kate doesn't really come into her own until near the end when she has to fight for them both on her own. The rest of the film she is either cranky and bitchy, or scared and crying. Which she does well don't get me wrong. She does really do some great scenes towards the end though with Frank Whalley - he throws her about like no one's business - I seriously hope she had a body double for that! Still manages to look pretty perfect throughout though (bah!).
The loud banging on the doors does make you jump, not in a scary way but just because it's so loud and unexpected. There is a scene where Amy and David try to escape through small underground tunnels filled with rats, which again is quite a scary scene espexially if you don't like small spaces. There isn't really that much gore in the film - some in the snuff films which David watches but they aren't really focused on for long enough to make you squirm too much. The main thing which is scary about the snuff films is that these poor innocent victims weren't expecting it at all and are genuinely scared for their lives. Which kind of makes you think this is something which perhaps could happens to anyone. That's what makes the film scary - it could happen to the average Joe Bloggs.
What I will say though is that the ending did kind of leave me thinking, is that it? The usual cliched ending of both the heroes living is fine, I'm never one for a bad ending - so a happy ending is always fine with me. But there are a few scenes at the end where you think something is about to happen, but it never does. And then before you know it the credits are rolling. At 80 minutes long it's a fairly short film, and perhaps they could have padded this out for a further ten minutes with some sort of extra action at the end, or an extended last scene?
Don't get me wrong - I think this a great little horror film, and aside from the short sharp ending it really is a film to see. Luke and Kate both do great jobs, pretty much carrying the whole film on their own along with Frank Whalley - but a limited cast doesn't mean limited action here. And the opening credits, reminiscent of Psycho, is something quite good to watch out for too. Although not perfect by any stretch, one to watch for sure.
Vacancy is a 2007 film staring Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale as David and Amy Fox, a separated by still married couple who are returning from a family party late at night, when Amy falls asleep, David decides to take a 'short cut' off of the interstate. When their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere they are forced to stay in a dodgy and almost deserted motel. On entering the reception the very strange owner gives them the honeymoon suite for no extra charge and they settle in for the night.
With little to talk about no an untuned television David finds some slasher movies, or so he thinks. On closer reflection he realises the murders are real and they all took place in the motels honeymoon suite. David realises they are in grave danger. The rest of the movie sees them trying to escape, with three guys in masks after them, a rigged payphone and dead cop later, will they ever find a way to escape and be together again.
I am a huge fan of horror movies and don't expect them to be realistic or completely believable so I was pleasently suprised that this movie is somewhat feasible. The acting is credible and the plot and storyline well written. There are parts where you are screaming at the television 'don't do that' or don't go in there' but they always do.
At only 85 minutes, it is perfectly timed as it gets straight to the storyline and doesn't drag on. It is only set in the motel so if it was any longer it would have become boring and monotonous. It was however quite entertaining. Oscar worthy, it was not. Nor will it stick in my mind as a film I loved but it is what it is, a good horror flick that you can watch if there isn't much on.
Now, if you watch snuff movies, and told people this, you would probably be left with no friends, but if you watch a film ABOUT snuff movies thats fine :)
i guess you're not watching people ACTUALLY die, so it makes it kind of okay.
Director Nimród Antal had never previously made a Hollywood movie, but this smallish budget horror is done with style and is genuinly intimidating.
Amy (Kate Beckinsale) and David Fox (Luke Wilson) are a couple on the verge of divorce returning home in the night. When they find themselves a little lost and suffer a breakdown, they decide to stay in the local motel. However, things are not as they seem, and a deadly, twisted game of cat and mouse begins.....
The premise for this idea is truly haunting, as the couple watch what has happened to previous occupents of the room, before it begins to happen to them. They are virtually hostages of the motel in this film, and the confined area adds to the tension, instilling a sense of claustrophobia.
The scares are very effective here, and sudden noise is probably the most commonly used tactic here. The frights through out are never cheasy or simple cheap shots, but are instead a series of intimidation tactics been used intentionally by the captors for their pleasure.
The acting here was pretty good. Kate Beckinsale isn't on top form, and she only really serves as eye candy throughout the movie. She simply doesn't seem able to pull off genuine emotions throughout the film, and in now way was i convinced that she was a woman in a near death scenario (of course, she isn't, she's a woman in a movie set, but that's beside the point :))
Luke Wilson was quite impressive here, as he is not the best actor out there, though handled the movie pretty well, with his emotions of hurt, affection, and fear pretty genuine throughout.
Unlike most films of this style, a good amount of time is spent revolving around the couple's relationship. This is always an effective idea, as it makes you care about the outcome of the movie, as you care about the characters.
The blood in the film is quite minimal, and there is very little swearing and very minimal nudity, and this raised the movie in my eyes, as it showed that the director did at no point resort to easy tactics which are frequently aimed at audiences.
The pace of the film is pretty good, as events never really get a chance to slow down, and on the other hand the action is never over the top. The only down point really is the length, at 77 minutes, which is quite easily the shortest film i can think of.
This is a must for horror fans. The feelings of fear and intimidation throughout are fantastic and convincing. This is a low budget film with a minimal cast (14 actors) and a small setting that keeps you fixed on the movie. The Blair Witch Project is the only other film i can think off that impresses with so few resources at hand.
After ordering this film from Lovefilm, I read the reviews after and to be honest I really wished that it hadn't arrived as they made it out to be a snuff film and this didn't really take my fancy at all, and it sat at home for a couple of weeks before we decided that we should really watch even though we didn't think we would like it at all.
When David and Amy break down on their way home in the middle of nowhere, tension start as the couple are currently going through a divorce and didn't really need anything else to cause any arguments. As the get out of the car and go in search of a telephone box the stumble across a motel aznd go in to seek help.
As the walk into the motel coming from the manager's door is a horrific sound of someone being beat up or attacked and they start to wonder what they have come into. The manager then comes to front desk and explains that he is watching a movie.
When speaking the manager they automatically take an instant disliking to him and his humour, however after not being able to getto a garage before morning they decide that it is either sleep in the cra in the middle of nowhere or stay in the motel. The safest option seems to stay over night in the motel and seek a garage first thing in the morning.
The creepy hotel manager offers them the key to honeymoon suite and they make their way to their room. Entering the room the are not completely happy with the cleanliness of the room which does not look as though the sheets have been changed for months.
As they begin to settle down an almighty banging starts on their door, however going to the front door they find that no-one is there. Every time they sat down the banging would start again. Going to the reception desk they are advised that their is no one present in the hotel to make any noise.
Going back to the room, David puts the television and find a lot of video tapes inthe room, curiously he puts one of the tapes in the video player, which plays a horror movie. Studying the video more closely he starts to realise that it is not a horror movie, but a video made in the room that they are staying in, of intruders coming in and brutaly torturing and murdering the occupants. After looking at more of the video's they realise that they are not staying a motel, they are about to enter a sick nightmare, which may leave them fighting for their lives.
Having not really fancied watching this film, it did actually exceed my expectations and was not what I was expecting to see at all. The write ups of the film I feel have been a little deceiving which leads you to think that it is actually something that it isn't. ALthough having a strange storyline, it is very gripping and jumpy in places.
Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson play their roles exceptionally well. Kate plays a strong character that comes across that not a lot will phase her, however looking further into her character she is just crying out, but keeps going on. Luke plays David, who is still in love with Amy however after the death of their child this has torn there relationship apart.
Its not brilliant but it is not rubbish either, worth a watch!!
The typical thriller murder story. On the way to the family meeting, a married couple lost in the street and got the car broken. The had to stay in a motel, the only one who has the vacant room. After a while living in the motel they started to find out that not only creepy but the hotel has the home videos of murders which happened in the room they were staying.
Nothing special about the story because it is really typical cheap hotel with murderers around movies. The scenes are barely made sense and I didn't know what was in their mind so that they were not running away when they found something wrong about the motel.
Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson are not made for thriller and horror and their peformance was not satisfying for me. They were good at the beginning when they were acting like a married couple who were fighting in a romance drama. But when the thrill is on, they suck. I like Kate Beckinsale, but I should be honest this is not her best performance.
Okay I should admit that they were able to make me shocked in the movie and were able to thrill me. The scenes in excitement cuold make your heart race as well. Not that scary but I know it would be enough for thriller lover.
A confined setting is a useful tool for thriller-makers, and Vacancy is definitely boxed in: a run-down motel way, way off the Interstate, the kind of place where unsuspecting movie characters go to get stabbed to death in the shower. If Vacancy doesn't quite live up to its Hitchcockian forbears, at least it provides 80 minutes of well-designed mayhem. You know somebody's paying attention just from the opening credits, a clever vortex with pounding music by Paul Haslinger. Then we meet unhappy couple Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale, driving along in the dark and forced to stay at the Pinewood Motel after a car breakdown. There's a night man (Frank Whaley, World Trade Center) in the tradition of Dennis Weaver's Touch of Evil gargoyle, but the real mess of trouble is waiting in room number 4. Director Nimrod Antal, who scored a stylish international hit with the Hungarian thriller Kontroll, squeezes maximum juice out of the Route 66 atmosphere of the motel, although the movie doesn't get under your skin the way Kontroll did. Wilson and Beckinsale are a little too marquee-namish for this kind of heavy-breathing work, and the script doesn't give them much to play with. But hey, it's not that kind of movie. Where it really belongs is on the top half of a drive-in double bill, or maybe as a nightmare-scenario TV movie from the Seventies. Either way, it works. --Robert Horton, Amazon.com