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Vacancy (2007)

Originally Written
Saturday, September 8, 2007

Vacancy is the type of film that makes you rethink staying at any roach infested motel in the middle of nowhere, or for that matter even stopping at one in the middle of the night to ask for directions. It's probably best to stay away from motels all together, stick to hotels! I've heard a lot of mixed comments about this film, so I was going into to it with little expectation and the joy of seeing Kate Beckinsale grace my screen once again, although it would be nice to see her in something a little more light-hearted. Vacancy manages to correct some major flaws that haunt the majority of horror films, but sadly leaves you with an over the top unbelievable ending that may ultimately leave you a little disappointed.

Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson star as Amy and David Fox. A couple who recently lost their son in an accident and seem to be on the final leg of a relationship that obviously wasn't going so well to begin with. Amidst the arguing and blaming the two manage to get lost in the middle of nowhere when their car breaks down. Lucky for them they are a mile away from a rundown motel and gas station. But in this case luck would have been breaking down in the middle of nowhere with nothing around.

Amy and David decide to walk back to the motel and stay the night so they can have the car looked at in the morning. It doesn't take them very long to realize something is not right with this place. When the phone rings and no ones on the other line, and when someone appears to be banging on the door but no one is there, they begin to get a little on edge. But the proof is the discovery of a stack of video tapes in their room which all seem to have vicious murders recorded on them, murders which all occurred in their room! Amy and David realize they're now the stars of some perverted guy's snuff film. It's time to put aside their differences with each other and attempt to escape from this prison alive. But with camera's everywhere and trap doors leading all around the property, escaping might not be possible.

Vacancy is one of those films that seems to be constantly fluctuating. The first part of the film I was rather annoyed by the two main characters as they constantly bickered over pointless issues. The middle or main meat of the film I have to say was quite well done and had me on the edge of my seat for the majority of the time, as the couple attempts to escape from their prison. The end I started to get a little annoyed once again as Vacancy begins to get extremely ridiculous. I didn't like what happened to Luke's character even though his fate after that was quite predictable and Kate's encounter with the motel manager was completely over the top.

Overall, I thought the acting in the film was quite well done compared to most horror films. Luke Wilson did a pretty good job, and Kate was good as usual. And contrary to what another reviewer said I actually thought the two characters were pretty smart, other than the mistake of going to the motel in the first place! The dumb ones were by far the villains, who made the incredibly idiotic move of leaving those tapes for them to find in the first place. Vacancy was quite exhilarating for the most part, unfortunately the last 15 minutes made me lower my score a little. In the end, it's an interesting film that's definitely different but also quite disturbing at times. I'm not a fan of horrors but this had enough to hold my attention.

And just as an interesting side note, there's a pretty noticeable screw up in the film. Pay close attention to the scene where Kate's character finds an apple in the bathroom. This is the same apple she was eating in the car a few hours ago, when she cut herself; note the fact that the apple is not gotten brown at all. Whoever was responsible for accuracy sorely overlooked this blatant mistake.


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