Film Review: Vacancy


Film: Vacancy

Director: Nimrod Antal

Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Luke Wilson, Frank Whaley

Rating: 3/5

Most of the thriller or horror flicks that have bothered to release this year have had us yawn, play hide n seek and even play scrabble in the dark. It has been long since we curled up in our seats, absorbed in fear. Vacany offers you the curl; it even has you bite your nails and start on your fingers.

It all starts on one late night drive, when a detour leads to an unimaginable nightmare. On the remote and deserted country road, David Fox (Luke Wilson) and Amy Fox (Kate Beckinsale) find themselves stranded, after their car breaks down. They are not the happiest of couples, considering they are headed for a divorce. With no choice but to stay at a nearby motel, they move in for the night.

In their scruffy room, David finds a couple of tapes. With the Television not working, he decides to play them. It comes as a shock to him, to see that the films look distressingly real. Soon they realize that the gruesome videos were shot in the very same room they are staying in. They figure they will be the next victims, unless of course they manage to escape.

The story is not the highlight as much as the treatment is. The settings are such that it creeps you out. The notion of being boxed in, smelly sheets and a killer on the loose, all of it leaves you feeling uncomfortable. It is in this feeling created that the film works. Very smartly, only three major characters are introduced, making it easy to associate and track what is going on.

It’s almost like the old school thriller films, especially with the night setting, chases and the slasher. Earlier on, a few minutes into the movie has begun you have figured out the story for yourself, but the fun is not in the how as much as it is in the fear offered through the various character actions.

Camera movements are simple and brisk; it is this crispness that makes you sit on the edge of your seats. The cinematography is brilliant and so is the editing, honestly if not for these two factors the movie would have been a letdown. The movie flows quickly and cohesively, the lights and textures have been used well. This film proves to be a great example of a film using sounds to amplify emotions and bring about restlessness. The sounds are used in specific scenes and done extremely tastefully.

Most thriller and horror films find it important to provide Justification or show a triumphant character. This film is no different; it is the justifications and the shift into solving a mystery that triggers discontent. Also the need to have a conventional end is rather dreary; it’s like giving what you expected, the element of surprise is missing.

Wilson and Beckinsale do well in moments and then overdo their parts in others. Whaley is great, he is thoroughly convincing and even manages to scare you.

Vacancy will be seen making average collections in most parts it releases. The lack of a better Hollywood release and a big budget Hindi flick, will further aid it in garnering better collections.

The film is provides quality entertainment and there is no cribbing after having watched it. Vacancy provides high-quality fear, watch it.