Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Vacancy - Leaves No Room for a Sequel

What is this about

A soon to be divorced couple (Luke Wilson and ever-hot Kate Beckinsale) goes about "300 miles" off highway while night-driving in rural California. The car breaks down near a deserted "Pinewood Motel". They decide to spend the night in the motel. Once inside the "Honeymoon Suite" -- that was probably cleaned last a quarter century ago -- they discover some extremely violent snuff VHS tapes. Wait! "Honey, doesn't it look like OUR room this is shot in!!??"
As the banging on their door increases, bitterness between the couple gives in to the alliance to survive.

When should I watch this

I watched this on a Monday night. Immediately after watching a pretty good spoof /homage movie - "Hot Fuzz" (review forthcoming). On Mondays most of the movies would be fine with you but "Vacancy" exceeded my expectations because -
  • The central characters of this chase/horror/thriller movie are not idiotic SCREAMing teens having no idea about their impending demise. Most of the "I know what you did last Summer" type movies is really about a cruel murder before or after some very wild party. Movies like "Cabin Fever" - slightly better than the former series - put together so much unabashed sex and gore that you could miss feeling the impact of one, or worse, both! After watching most such movies I feel exactly how I feel after a really good brunch buffet. Lots of food, yes. All favorites, totally. But boy, I wish I could have broken it down over two meals!!

    There's so much gore, that you would not be able to enjoy the "scenes" with chilled beer in your hand -- expecting a hooded loser entering the scene and chop of significant part of anatomy of one of the orgasmic characters on the bed (or within the woods!). And there's so much (mostly teen) nudity that the actual shock scenes won't really reach the necessary climax!

    "Vacancy" has a very unusual pair of central characters - a bitter couple! So guess what they said immediately after noting the bed probably has never been cleaned in any of the Bush presidencies (or in between) -

    Amy Fox - (Rolling eyes) I'm sleeping with my clothes on!
    David Fox - (Bland, expressionless face) I'm sleeping with my SHOES on!!

    Won't you love such a "motel" movie to NOT start with weird sex but bitter-ass "I can do better than you" exchange between a blaming couple? I did.

  • I won't spoil the movie for you, but it has an unusually usual ending. I am almost tired of applying my "brains" to figure out the endings of recent thrillers. It severely hurts the quality of driving back home after the movie. You keep thinking "OK - so they're not really finished. They showed this handkerchief from the killer gang and somebody picked it up after the end credits! DAMN!!!"

    Last night I drove back peacefully. I was sure everything was settled at the theater itself leaving little room for a sequel.

    Don't you hate good movies that intentionally ends with a not-so-subtle hint of a sequel at the end credit? Why don't they just make both of it together and just edit it well to let you catch a good night's sleep? We will have two (or may be more) climaxes in the same movie in that case. However, in hindsight, one with multiple climaxes may not necessarily be a "guy" movie!

  • Even though the main premise was "snuff film" there's surprisingly less real gore in it.

If you're a thriller fan, watch director Nimrod Antal's "Kontroll". Very smart-made movie.

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