Thursday, March 17, 2011

SXSW and World Premier -- The Innkeepers

The Innkeepers
Dir. Ti West

Synopsis: Hotel clerks by day, amateur ghost hunters by night, the last two employees of the historic Yankee Pedler Inn set out to prove that their place of business is as haunted as it's reputation.

I've been really excited about getting to talk about this movie ever since I entered the Paramount theater and passed Ti West coming down from the balcony as I, with my measly little film pass in hand, was running up to try to find a seat.  The House of the Devil's director wasn't the first brush with celebrity (or at least a name I had heard of before) that day, having run into Danny Devito and Carla Gugino on their way to a tv interview as I was handing out t-shirts to passing strangers with the promotion I was working.

But this was different.  I guess the air about the viewing was special or something, but it really just seemed to humanize the filmmaker and the movie itself.  It's an amazing feeling to know that you're on a level playing field with someone a packed theater has come to see.  Knowing that you have everything that filmmaker has to make a movie (except the $...  but that's another story), you breathe the same air and watch the same movies.  There's nothing keeping you from being on his end of the process.  Made me want to make movies.

I'm also very excited about this post because I have some video from the Q&A for my four follower's viewing pleasure.  So, enjoy a little Ti West action. :)  Sorry, the quality is pretty bad on my old digital camera, I didn't pack the T2i along, unfortunately.

This film brought something to the table that I haven't seen.  Now, I may have, and this could leave some room for discussion, but the writing and directoral style of Ti West is very interesting.  In the House of the Devil, Ti begins playing with the idea of light humor in a very seriously scary movie, but in the Innkeepers he plays it through.  So, in one moment, you are laughing and relaxed in your seat, but then after a short suspenseful moment or two, you are back to the edge of your seat, peaking through your fingers at the screen.

I feel like this works for a couple reasons.  In movies where you are tense the entire time, there's no rest.  I feel like sometimes, you almost just get tired of being so stressed out and you begin to separate yourself from the screen and the experience as a whole.  And if you go into a movie that is going to rely mostly on it's blood, guts, and gore to make it scary, then you've got a weak script to begin with and not something anyone is going to invest much thought into.  But, when you make the characters likable through their light bickering and banter, your audience is going to fall for them by laughing with them.  Then, in turn, they're going to go on this journey with your characters through the stuff you have up your sleeve.  Ti decides to sprinkle the giggles in even toward the end, again, allowing you and the characters to relax, but you're going to jump.

I do think that it's worth stating that I typically hate scary movies.  You typically have to really do some sweet talking to get me into one, but I made the exception over a year ago when I was intrigued by Kyle's VHS copy of House of the Devil.  The movie wasn't extremely intense, but at the same time, it wasn't Brain Dead either.  It was like you could take the movie as seriously as you wanted to, unlike something like the Ring, where I begin to feel more and more trapped.  So, for obvious reasons I skipped out on seeing Insideous, but I probably will catch another Ti West film if I get the chance.

Run Time 100 min + 2842 = 2942 minutes invested in this "little" project

1 comment:

  1. Way better video to come. Just wait for the Bellflower post. :)