|Notice that there's already someone camped out in line,|
two hours before a midnight movie. Does every screening
in L.A. sell out?
More recently at home, I enjoyed The Innkeepers, although not as much as Ti West's previous feature, The House Of the Devil. In HOD, West drove the audience halfway to madness with the fear that comes with anticipation (what is fear but the work of the imagination, and what spurs it like a payoff that could happen at any time?). In The Innkeepers, he has intentions that are slightly different but no less interesting: he wishes here to slowly establish a stage and its characters, and even a feeling of safety and a kind of sweetness, before revealing the menace we know is coming. It reminded me of The Haunting and the original Stepford Wives, which work about the same way, and often make me wonder why more films don't try to do this.
The payoff here, however, feels perfunctory. After all the groundwork, I wish there might have been some ending that wasn't so anonymous with respect to who these characters are. Or perhaps it's simply the case that West, wishfully, left too much up to our imaginations. The ending could have been the perfect time to reveal something, not to complete the puzzle but to give us just enough to think about later, just something to rattle in our heads at bedtime.
This year's winner is out there somewhere, I have no doubt! Onward!