Sunday, September 14, 2008

Horror Movie Review: Vacancy


Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Luke Wilson, Frank Whaley, and Ethan Embry

Directed by: Nimrod Antal

Written by: Mark L. Smith

Production Companies: Hal Lieberman Company and Screen Gems

Release Date: April 20, 2007

Amy and David Fox are a couple on the outs and heading to get a divorce. An accident on the interstate causes David to decide to take a short cut and get off of the interstate. After their car breaks down, they stay in a shabby motel. Soon they find themselves the potential stars of a snuff film.

A film doesn't have to be original to be good, so I wasn't bothered with the recycled plot. But there was nothing new or interesting about this movie. While there are some worthy aspects to the film, the uninspired script keeps the noteworthy elements from fulfilling their potential.

The acting is good. The tension between David (Luke Wilson) and Amy (Kate Beckinsale) is palpable and sometimes darkly humorous. Frank Whaley plays motel manager Mason, the creepy "director" of snuff films set in his motel. His partner is an unnamed mechanic played by Ethan Embry who was able to make a pleasant smile forboding.

Many of the shots were tense and unsettling, but the tension was muted by predictability and everything worthwhile was ruined by the abrupt, cheesy ending.

I can't quite bring myself to say it's a complete waste of time, but there's something vacant in Vacancy.

Where Else Can They Be Found?

Luke Wilson - Luke Wilson is typically seen in comedies, not horror, and can be seen currently in Henry Poole is Here. Henry Poole abandons his fiancée and family business to spend what he believes are his remaining days alone. The discovery of a "miracle" by a nosy neighbor ruptures his solitude and restores his faith in life. He is shooting Tenure about A college professor competing for tenure with a hot-shot female colleague.

Kate Beckinsale - Beckinsale will next be seen in the limited release of Nothing but the Truth. In Washington, D.C., a female reporter faces a possible jail sentence for outing a CIA agent and refusing to reveal her source. In April 2009, Beckinsale will appear in Whiteout, an action thriller about U.S. Marshal Carrie Stetko (Beckinsale) who tracks a killer in Antarctica, as the sun is about to set for six months.

Frank Whaley - Frank Whaley will appear in the straight to video release of Cell 2 in which The Cusp is a serial killer who kills his victims and then brings them back to life; over and over again; until they beg to die! Maya is a psychic investigator who gained her powers after a 1 year coma after she was the Cusp's first victim! Now the Cusp Killer is back and Maya has little time to do what she has never done before, go into the mind of a killer unprotected, and save his latest victim. Cell 2 was set to be released this October, but its release has been pushed back to an unspecified 2009 date.

Ethan Embry - On September 26, Embry will appear in Eagle Eye. Jerry Shaw (Shia LaBeouf) and Rachel Holloman (Michelle Monaghan) are two strangers thrown together by a mysterious phone call from a woman they have never met. Threatening their lives and family, she pushes Jerry and Rachel into a series of increasingly dangerous situation, using the technology of everyday life to track and control their every move. As the situation escalates, these two ordinary people become the country's most wanted fugitives, who must work together to discover what is really happening -– and more importantly, why.

While not a horror movie, the line "We are everywhere," is chilling. That's Ethan Embry saying, "It makes no sense."

Nimrod Antal - On September 18, 2009, we'll see Antal's next film Armored, in which A guard for an armored truck company is coerced by his veteran coworkers to steal a truck containing $10 million. Armored will feature Matt Dillon, Skeet Ulrich, Jean Reno, Milo Ventimiglia, and Laurence Fishburn.

Mark L. Smith - Smith's next script is the straight to video Vacancy 2, the sequel to this review's movie. In it three young people check into the Meadow View Inn for a night's rest, fully unaware of the inn's sick-minded employees and their nefarious intentions. It is set for release on January 20, 2009. In 2010, his next film, The Hole, is scheduled to be completed with Joe Dante as director. A pair of brothers stumble upon a mysterious hole in their basement that leads to the darkest corridors of their fears and nightmares.

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