Claire (Sara Paxton) and Luke (Pat Healy) are the only two emloyees working at the old Yankee Pedlar Inn, since the hotel is about to close down in a few days due to unprofitability.
The giant hotel is pretty much empty, except for a lonel moter, and an aged actress Leanne (Kelly McGillis), who also happens to be a psychic.
Luke, being a geek that he is, believes an old story about a ghost of former owner of the place, Madeline O’Malley still being present in the hotel, after she was killed years ago in the basement of the hotel.
Claire tries to kill as much time as she can, occasionally helping out Luke to walk the hotel corridors, searching for that “ghost”. Soon enough though, it turns out the ghost is as real as it can be, and both Claire and Luke would have wished they left the place earlier…
At first, there was nothing really great to expect – another boring “ghost movie”, with a tiny budget. And yet the film doesn’t have anything remotely close to “amateur” in it.
Prior to making “InnKeepers”, director Ti West was already famous for bringing us such films as “The Roost” (2005), “House of the Devil” (2009) and “Cabin Fever 2″ (2009). With “Innkeepers”, he took one step further.
One thing that should be noted – regardless of the budget, the film has a very good cast, and the actors make you believe their characters. This can be considered one of the strongest points of the film.
Another very strong point here is that the film actually manages to scare you, without showing people getting eaten, mutilated and so on. A couple of unexpecting moments will make you jump out of your seat for sure.
The weakest point in the film, is that it is very unbalanced. Imagine in the first 10 minutes you get these great scares, then the next 45 minutes the story drags and makes you want to fall asleep, and the next 10 minutes its all scares again.
While a lot of horror movies are being shot this way, in case with “Innkeepers”, there’s a huge distance being felt throughout the film, between the “scare scenes”, and the “dragging scenes”. The transitions are not so smooth, and during the “long corridor walks”, it is really being felt.
The ghosts themselves (yes, there are more than one) are neatly made, good make-up on them, and Ti West uses shadows and lights wisely, to increase the suspense, when the ghosts actually appear.
“Innkeepers” is almost a masterpiece. Not every horror movie can actually scare you, having such a low budget. If the film was a bit more smooth, more balanced, it might have been better. The film does have a few very good scares, but never goes beyond a usual ghost story. Still, if you like those, give the film a look.