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I now understand which last cliché was missing in “House of the Devil”: the secret in the basement! “The Innkeepers” is by no means a great film, but watch it back to back with that atrocity that was “Don’t be afraid of the dark” and see the difference. In both case, somebody decides to find out “what’s in the basement”, in both cases you think “that is usually not a very good idea, especially on your own”, and in the case of “… dark” you decide after a minute that you actually don’t even care. In “The Innkeepers” by what I from now on will refer to as The Master of Recycled Horror Modules Ti West, you are more invested. I won’t say that I did, but would I have spoken to the screen, I would have shouted something like “damn fool, don’t go there, you know what will happen, you have seen the same movies I have seen, don’t you know that it is EVIL???!!” or something along these lines. And this despite the clunky plot points leading person A to location B and down to C, just to make sure at some point somebody can be inconveniently isolated again. And Kelly McGillis swinging the pendulum is funny…  In contrast to the previous two Ti West films I have just seen, by the way, and in defense of “The Innkeepers” (as if it would need any – every genre fan must love it, as despite its flaws it is better by leagues than 90 per cent of the annual releases) I have to mention the two actors inhabiting the film’s center and the Inn’s reception desk. A geek and a sweetie, both not the regular schlock fodder by any means, and even though the guy has an interest in paranormal phenomena and all the gear to measure them, most of the time that is not an issue at all. Just two kids hanging out while happening to watch over a hotel and having a couple of beers. Until things go wrong, of course, as they must in Mr West’s movies.

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_innkeepers/

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