Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Film: "Vacancy"

In this film Mr & Mrs Bickerson are driving through the backwoods of America having an argument over a number of things, including whose fault it is that they are lost. Their car breaks down, so they book into this scuzzy motel run by this creepy weirdo. Strange banging noises come from the room next door, even though they are supposedly the motel's only guests. For some reason their room contains a video player and a couple of videos, and they decide to watch them. The vids are snuff movies of people being horribly tortured and killed. AND THEN THEY REALISE that the people were tortured and killed in the room they are staying in, that they are being recorded on hidden cameras, and that they are scheduled to star in the next feature. TEH HORRORE.

You can kind of guess what happens after that (it all turns out to be a misunderstanding and everyone lives happily ever after). I enjoyed this as a scary film that delivers the kind of creepy terror of expectation you want from this kind of thing. I thought the couple's endless bickering in the early part of the film worked as a great mood setter for what came after. I think this might be a standard feature of horror films, but the scripting, direction, and acting of those bits was very impressive. Popbitch, interestingly, reports that the two leads (Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale) failed to bond bigtime during filming. Eventually they they took to showing up on the set on alternate days to shoot their scenes, such was their mutual loathing. If this is true then it is an impressive example of mentalist method acting.

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