April 20, 2007
On the Big Board
||Its moments of being a tense little thriller are marred by unlikeable characters and some hair-pulling stupidity.
||Yuck. Never make me watch Luke Wilson in peril again. Unless it's funny.
||The characters face a scary situation but that doesn't make this a good movie.
In April of 2007, we see two films released that are reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock. The first is Disturbia, which features a teen cast and borrows directly from Rear Window. The other is Vacancy, a movie that shares some commonalities with Psycho in that it puts its protagonists in extreme danger in a motel setting.
Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale play a husband and wife who are stranded when their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. They don't wind up at Frankenfurter's mansion, which may or may not be preferable to what happens to them in Vacancy. They check into a low-rent motel and settle in for the night to watch some television. They are soon creeped out when they realize that the cheap slasher films they have been watching all have one common point - each one was filmed in the exact room where they are staying.
Our young heroes soon find themselves in great peril as hidden cameras record their every move. They become trapped in various hidden rooms and underground tunnels as they attempt to make their escape and thwart the amateur filmmaker from making them the stars of his latest masterpiece.
Wilson moves away from his comfort zone a bit with Vacancy, as he's generally best used in quirky comedies and Frat Pack films. He's had some experience in the genre with Scream, however. Beckinsale, on the other hand, has worked in the horror category with her Underworld roles, but playing the victim will be a bit of a departure for her as well. Will the typical horror audience go for these 30-somethings in a genre typically targeted at teens and 20-somethings? Probably not, but even so, Vacancy has a solid chance at finding a real audience on DVD. (Kim Hollis/BOP)