The Innkeepers is a 2011 American supernatural horror film written, directed and edited by Ti West. It stars Sara Paxton, Pat Healy, and Kelly McGillis. Its plot follows two employees at the Yankee Pedlar Inn who, during its last weekend of operations, attempt to document the alleged supernatural activity in the building.
|Directed by||Ti West|
|Written by||Ti West|
|Edited by||Ti West|
|Music by||Jeff Grace|
|Distributed by||Magnet Releasing|
|Box office||$1.18 million|
In the final operating week of the Yankee Pedlar Inn, a once-grand hotel, Claire and Luke are the only employees working. Claire, an asthmatic college dropout, and Luke, owner of a website chronicling the hotel's supposed hauntings, are both ghost hunting enthusiasts fascinated by the hotel's "haunted" history. They were especially interested in Madeline O'Malley, a bride who hanged herself when abandoned at the altar, and whose body was hidden in the basement by the hotel owners.
Luke checks in an older woman, whom Claire recognizes as Leanne Rease-Jones, a former actress. While delivering towels to her room, Claire is starstruck and has an awkward encounter with Leanne, who is initially cold toward her. The following night, while taking out the garbage, Claire notices Leanne watching from her room window and waves, but Leanne moves away from the window without acknowledging her. Claire hears noises coming from the hotel's garage, where there is a door leading to the basement. She padlocks the door and returns inside. She uses Luke's ghost-hunting equipment to record EVPs in various places around the hotel. While recording, she hears faint voices and music, and sees the grand piano in the lobby play by itself.
Claire awakens to Madeline's apparition in her room. She later runs into Leanne in the hallway. Leanne reveals she is in town for a psychics' convention, having left her acting career to become a medium. She warns Claire not to go into the basement. Later that day, an elderly man arrives and asks for a honeymoon suite on the third floor, and Claire obliges him.
Luke and Claire investigate the basement. They encounter disembodied voices and other paranormal activity, which scares Luke into leaving the hotel. Panicked, Claire asks Leanne for help. Leanne makes contact with a spirit and tells Claire they need to leave the hotel immediately. Claire rushes upstairs to retrieve the elderly man, only to find a suicide note and discovers his body in the bathtub, his wrists slashed, with Madeline's apparition hanging from a rope. Claire runs downstairs and finds that Luke has returned to the hotel. As Luke goes upstairs to find Leanne, Claire hears noises coming from the basement and approaches the stairwell. Startled by an apparition of the elderly man, she falls down, injuring her head.
Disoriented, Claire walks into the basement room where Madeline's body was kept. She tries in vain to open the door leading to the garage, forgetting she had locked it. Confronted by Madeline's apparition, Claire dies of an asthma attack.
The next morning, Luke tells police he heard Claire's screams coming from the cellar but could not open the door to save her. Luke and Leanne leave with the police. Leanne comforts Luke, saying that Claire couldn't have been saved.
The film ends with a view of Claire's room where her barely-visible apparition looks out the window. As she turns towards the viewer, the door slams shut.
In January 2010, Ti West was named as the director of the Dark Sky Films project. Sara Paxton, Pat Healy and Kelly McGillis signed on in May 2010. The film is produced by Derek Curl, Larry Fessenden, Ti West and Peter Phok. for Dark Sky Films in partnership with Glass Eye Pix. It was shot in Torrington, Connecticut. West shot several scenes in the actual Yankee Pedlar Inn in Torrington, Connecticut. The film was shot on 35 mm film.
The score is composed by American musician Jeff Grace.
The film premiered at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in March 2011. Dark Sky Films set for a limited theatrical release on February 3, 2012. Ti West narrated and presented his film on the "Get Lit" Winter Party on December 22, 2010, in The Purple Lounge at The Standard Hotel on the Sunset Strip, Hollywood, California.
The Innkeepers received generally positive reviews from critics. The film has a 79% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 121 reviews, with an average rating of 6.6/10. The website's consensus reads: "It doesn't break any rules of the genre, but The Innkeepers serves as additional proof that Ti West is a young director that discriminating horror fans can trust".
Roger Ebert awarded the film a score of three out of four stars, concluding: "Ghost movies like this, depending on imagination and craft, are much more entertaining than movies that scare you by throwing a cat at the camera." David Harley of Bloody Disgusting gave the film a score of three out of five, commending the performances but writing that, "once the tone shifts from light-hearted comedy to balls-to-the-wall horror, it makes the two halves feel like separate films [...] in the end the whole is not as great as the sum of its parts." Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film two out of five stars, calling it "bafflingly bland and unatmospheric", and writing that it "annoyingly fails to do anything with the kooky situation it elaborately establishes, and there are no real shocks or laughs."
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- "An Orb or Just Dust in New 'Innkeepers' Image". Bloody-Disgusting.com. Retrieved 2011-03-05.
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- "The Innkeepers". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 13, 2022.
- Ebert, Roger (February 1, 2012). "The Innkeepers movie review & film summary (2012) | Certain guests never check out". RogerEbert.com. Retrieved 29 March 2022.
- Harley, David. "The Innkeepers". Bloody Disgusting. Archived from the original on March 25, 2011. Retrieved January 25, 2012.
- Bradshaw, Peter (June 7, 2012). "The Innkeepers – review". The Guardian. Retrieved March 29, 2022.
- "Various perspectives of the top 10 films of 2012". SF Examiner. Retrieved October 24, 2016.