Vacancy (2007)

Vacancy PosterBefore you even start throwing out shit like Vacancy? WTF? Why is this considered a lost classic? Well, I’m going to get to that if you give me a chance. Vacancy is one of those rare films that has a simple setup of a retro midnight flick, but drags you into it with its creepy setting and unsettling location. Therein lies the deliciously simplistic appeal of Vacancy: It offers a basic-yet-compelling horror story, but it does so in such a crisp and slick fashion that you’re more than willing to overlook the few rough spots.

There are a couple of things I would of done to make it go from an good movie to a fucking awesome film. One of them is getting rid of the A-B list actors, using unknown actors not only gives it a better sense of the story actually happening, but you also put yourself more into the film and most importantly, into their shoes. Another thing is to lower the budget by half, like Karen and I discussed in the first podcast, throwing money at something doesn’t always make it better. I think that bad shots and grainy looking film would of added to the nasty sleazy effect they were going for, instead of the clean, crisp looking finished product.

VACANCYThe film borrows a few pages from James Mangold’s Identity and reminiscent of John Dahl’s roadside chillers, Vacancy is the epitome of formula: It’s about an estranged married couple who, following an ill advised detour and an unfortunate automobile mishap, find themselves spending the night in the seriously grungy Pinewood Motel. It’s in their motel room that David and Amy Fox discover a pile of old VHS tapes … all of which contain footage of actual murders that were committed in (you guessed it) the very same hotel room! Turns out you should never patronize a motel that’s run by a “snuff film” producer.Vacancy 2

A creepy concept, well-written and well-shot(which they shouldn’t of done), anchored by a pair of fine performances and a director who’s just as interested in style and intensity as he is in presenting a very slick pace. I’d call Vacancy a ‘guilty pleasure, only I don’t really feel any guilt about enjoying and recommending a fast paced fright flick like this one.

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