Vacancy (film)

Vacancy is a 2007 American horror thriller film directed by Nimród Antal and starring Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson. Early in the film's development, it was thought Sarah Jessica Parker would star; but, in September 2006, The Hollywood Reporter announced Beckinsale had been signed instead.[2] It was released April 20, 2007, by the distributor Screen Gems.

Theatrical release poster
Directed byNimród Antal
Written byMark L. Smith
Produced byHal Lieberman
CinematographyAndrzej Sekuła
Edited byArmen Minasian
Music byPaul Haslinger
Screen Gems
Hal Lieberman Company
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing[1]
Release date
  • April 20, 2007 (2007-04-20)
Running time
85 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$19 million[1]
Box office$35.4 million[1]


On their way home from a family party, David (Luke Wilson) and Amy Fox (Kate Beckinsale), who are on the verge of divorce, take a wrong turn on a remote mountain road. They drive to an old auto repair garage after their car broke down. A mechanic (Ethan Embry) had helped to fix it. Soon after leaving, their car breaks down again. When they find that there is no cell phone reception, they walk back to the garage, only to find it has swiftly closed. They walk to a nearby motel to seek help. When they arrive at the reception office, they hear a piercing scream coming from the room at the back of the reception, only for it to be coming from the television. The motel manager, Mason (Frank Whaley) turns it off and meets the couple. He explains the auto repair garage across the street is closed until the morning, so they book a room for the night.

While getting ready for bed, David and Amy are alarmed by loud banging on their door and the door to the adjacent room. David goes to reception to tell Mason about the situation, and Mason tells them they are his only guests. Back in the room, David watches a videotape that was left in the room's TV. At first it seems to be a horror film, but then they realize it is a snuff film that was made in their room. David searches the room and finds multiple hidden security cameras and realizes that Mason is watching them.

David and Amy flee the room for the woods, but are confronted by three men wearing masks, so they return to the room and lock the door. In the bathroom, they are shocked to find the half-eaten apple Amy left in the car. David runs to the motel's payphone and dials 911, but Mason answers. David escapes the phone booth just before the men crash their car into it and chase him back to the room. Moments later, David and Amy hear a truck pull into the parking lot. From the window, they attract the driver's attention, but soon realize he is working with Mason. They then discover a trapdoor in the bathroom, leading to various tunnels to different rooms of the motel. They end up in the manager's room. Amy attempts to call the police but is interrupted by Mason.

Followed by the masked men, they sneak back into the tunnel and take a different route, ending up in the auto garage across from the motel. Meanwhile, a sheriff appears, having responded to Amy's attempted call. Upon searching one of the rooms, he witnesses a snuff film and flees. David and Amy run to him, and they all attempt to leave but find the engine wire to the police car has been cut. When the officer gets out, the masked men kill him. David and Amy run into one of the other rooms. David hides Amy in the ceiling while he plans to make it to Mason's office to retrieve a revolver, but the men stab him as he leaves. He collapses as Amy watches from above.

In the morning, Amy comes down and leaves, finding one of the killers' car. As she attempts to drive away, a masked man breaks into the car from the sun roof, and she crashes the car into the motel, killing two of the men. (The latter of which revealed to be a mechanic who have been "helped" earlier.) Amy then runs into the reception, where she finds the revolver. Mason appears and begins to strangle her with the telephone cord, then beats her as he records the struggle with his video camera. Amy fights back and manages to gain the upper hand, finally shooting Mason dead.

Amy returns to David and finds he is still alive. She goes back to reception, takes the phone cord from Mason's jacket pocket, and connects it to the phone to call 911. She then goes back to David, comforting him while waiting for the police to arrive.



In March 2005, it was announced Hal Lieberman would be producing Vacancy written by Mark L. Smith for Screen Gems.[3]


Vacancy opened at #4 in its first week at the box office grossing $7.6 million at 2,551 locations. In its second week, the film had a 45.9% drop-off, falling to a #8 position. The film has grossed a total of $35.3 million worldwide.[1]

Home videoEdit

Vacancy was released on DVD on August 14, 2007, in both fullscreen and anamorphic widescreen, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Special features include deleted scenes, a making-of featurette, the full versions of the snuff films, and a trailer gallery.[4] It was also released on Blu-ray Disc and UMD for the PSP. Many versions shipped to Australia featured Sony DVD "anti-piracy" technology, which led to them being unreadable on most DVD players, including Sony DVD players. The DVD featured a commentary by Nimrod Antal, Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson, all of whom said they thought the film was a great addition to the horror genre and for not using gore for scares but using psychological horror.

Advertising and promotionEdit

The advertising strategy for the film made use of the Internet as well as a toll-free phone number. In addition to the TV spots and trailers shown in theaters and on television, the toll free number was made to sound as if one is actually calling the motel in which the film is set. In the background, screaming can be heard accompanying the voice of the proprietor, who informs callers about "slashing" prices and the "killer" deals that the motel has—if it has a vacancy. The voice of the proprietor is Frank Whaley's. As of August 7, 2015, the toll-free phone number is no longer valid.


Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 55% of 124 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating of 5.4/10. The site's consensus reads: "Vacancy's restraint with gore is commendable, the thin characters and B-movie cliches less so."[5] Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 54 out of 100 based on 27 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[6] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B–" on an A+ to F scale.[7]


Vacancy 2: The First Cut was released in 2008. Written by Mark L. Smith, and directed by Eric Bross, it serves as a prequel, and focuses on how the motel's employees started their tortures. The film stars Agnes Bruckner and Trevor Wright.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "Vacancy". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2015-12-22.
  2. ^ Schneider, Karl (2006-09-11). "Kate Beckinsale joins Vacancy". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2006-08-26. Retrieved 2006-01-02.
  3. ^ "Sony pic fills a 'Vacancy'". Variety. Retrieved January 14, 2022.
  4. ^ Jane, Ian (2007-08-07). "Vacancy". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2015-12-22.
  5. ^ "Vacancy (2007)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  6. ^ "Vacancy". Metacritic. Retrieved 2015-12-22.
  7. ^ "Find CinemaScore" (Type "Vacancy" in the search box). CinemaScore. Retrieved June 12, 2022.

External linksEdit