Thursday, January 26, 2012

smut pedlar.

After the movie month I've had so far all I can say is

"Help me Ti West....you're my only hope".

The Innkeepers (2011).
Dir: Ti West.
Cast: Sara Paxton, Pat Healy and Kelly McGillis.



After over a hundred years of service to the community of Connecticut and it's various passers thru' the Yankee Pedlar hotel is finally locking it's doors for good after one final weekend of trading.

The hotel's last two employees, asthmatic cutsie-pie Claire (Last House on The Left and Aquamarine's Paxton) and the bespectacled professional ginger man Luke (Ghost World's Healy), decide to brighten up their last ever shifts by finally recording some real evidence of the ghost that allegedly haunts the premises.

Kelly McGillis farted...and it smelled of Tom Cruise.

Spreading their time between the hotel's paranormal-based website, fetching coffees and dealing with the Pedlars only guest; a mad mum and her brattish child, things brighten up when the bitchy Leanne Rease-Jones (Top Gun tottie McGillis) arrives to book a room.

It appears that Claire's favourite alcoholic (ex) actress has turned new age guru and is in town for a speaking engagement.

Approached by Claire for an autograph, Leanne informs our bowl haired babe that there isn't just one spirit in the hotel but three, so Claire donning headphones and with a ghost-friendly electronic voice phenomenon device at her side heads into the buildings myriad of rooms in the hope of finding some proof of paranormal activity.

Tho' hopefully not any of the three movies of the same name.

Or the Asylum Paranormal Entity rip-offs.

Or The Entity.

Tho' from the look of Luke's internet history he seems the kinda guy who'd have a rubber tit fetish.

"I'm Batman".


Starting off in the creepy confines of the hotel laundry room, Claire gently sways the microphone to and fro, whilst in a moment of visual and aural genius the camera smoothly follows the mike, the viewer hearing only the sounds that it picks up.

Pure movie porn.

Travelling slowly thru' the deserted rooms, a feeling of ominous dread fills the air, the static and silence suddenly interrupted by the distant sound of a piano playing.

Running to tell Luke of her discovery she surprised to see an old man at the front desk.

It appears that he and his late wife spent their honeymoon in the Yankee Pedlar and he's now determined to spend the night in the by now, boxed up and gutted honeymoon suite for a night of  "nostalgia".

Whatever that may mean.

Beware The Krankies basement.


When Claire scares the obnoxious young boy with her tales of ghosts forcing his mother to strop off home in a huff our tipsy twosome are left to their own devices, now even more determined to catch a ghost but after a chat with Leanne regarding the afterlife, Claire is shocked to find that there is more than one ghost in the hotel and that they mean to harm our heroine.

Noticing how scared Claire has become Leanne tries her best to allay her fears, everything will be fine so long as she doesn't go in the basement....

And that's all I'm gonna say save spoiling one of the best old fashioned spooky house stories of recent memory.






Thank you Ti West for re-igniting my love of creepiness after what can only be described as a month of mank-riddled movie monstrosities.

After the fantastic The House of the Devil, West's love letter to early 80's slashers, expectations were high regarding his follow up and frankly he hasn't disappointed.

Well, if I'm honest he seems to have disappointed a few people with it but not me.

Slow burning, slow building and as genuinely scary as a really scary thing, it's tiny (as in small number not little people) cast play out the scenario to perfection with everyone from the adorable Sara Paxton (looking so much cuter here than covered in mud in Last House) to the ginger prince himself Pat Healy, via the legend that is Kelly McGillis giving their all for a story that's as deceptively simple as it is spookily effective.

Saying that tho' the movies greatest scene involves no ghosts whatsoever but does involve Claire, a big bin and a leaky rubbish bag.

Sheer delight.

Jade Goody: The pancake years.


The real star of the film tho' must be the location itself, the very real Yankee Pedlar Inn which comes across as a kinda budget decorated, more homely  version of the Overlook from The Shining mixed with the mundane ordinariness of every cheap hotel you've ever stayed in, the kinda place where even the wallpaper can give you a chill.

Lovingly crafted and beautifully shot, West has created one of the best haunted house films I’ve seen in an age.


And my hat is doffed to the man.

2 comments:

MondoHeather said...

Nice review! Between this article and that gorgeous piece of poster art, I will definitely have to seek this out.

Anonymous said...

I loved House of the Devil, and now this is on my LoveFilm list thanks to that review! Good skills sir!