Monday, August 27, 2007

Vacancy (2007, Nimrod Antal)

"A young married couple becomes stranded at an isolated motel and finds hidden video cameras in their room. They realize that unless they escape, they'll be the next victims of a snuff film"

I am a big fan of this directors previous film, Kontroll, if you haven't checked that film out then you are missing out on a great hidden gem of a film. So, when I heard that he was going to be directing an American horror film I was a bit curious. As soon as the cast was lined up and the plot synopsis popped up I knew that this would be pretty bad. I don't know why, you could just tell. I am sad to say that I was 100 percent right when I wish I could hare been proven wrong.

The problem with Vacancy is that it is nothing new at all. It introduces nothing new to the horror/thriller genre and on top of that relies on cliched premises to tell what is supposed to be a tense story. Of course since this story is moved along by cliched character with cliched dialogue the story loses whatever intensity that it had going for it at first.

The couple at first fight in the most cliched matter ever. She hates him because he wont take directions meanwhile he hates her because she is always being bitchy with him. On top of this dialogue which sounds so wooden we get some even more wooden performances out of the two leads. Luke Wilson especially sounds silly saying what is supposed to be serious dialogue.

I thought the forced dialogue would be done with as soon as the exposition was over and the thrills started coming but no. These characters just go from one cliche to another. They go from a fighting couple that we have seen before to the all of a sudden heroic duo that runs around and get scared a lot but yet manage to escape just in time.

There is not much more to talk about Vacancy because there is not much there. There is no great atmosphere, no great camera work, no great performances, and no great thrills. The film at least manages to be short and entertaining enough to the point where you are not wanting to turn it off. So, for that reason alone I give it some credit. Still, it is very sad seeing such a by the numbers horror film from a man who directed one of the most unqiue films that I have seen.

Vacancy is just a bad follow up film to a great debut from what I hope can still be a great director.

- C

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