Vacancy - Check Out of This
I have often said that the most important element to any movie is the story and I think Vacancy is a good example of that. I don’t care how great the director is, how good the performances are, how interesting the ideas are, if there is no good story there is no good movie. Vacancy proves my point.
At the heart of Vacancy is a great idea for a thriller. Hotel in the middle of nowhere, stranded travellers in the middle of night, snuff film producers taking advantage. Like Hostel it’s a great idea for getting into the scariest and darkest parts of human nature. Also, like Hostel the idea is wasted in a crappy movie.
It’s not really the director’s fault. The unfortunately named Nimrod Antal shows a lot of promise in the clever way he shot this story. I love what he does with mirrors in the beginning. He really makes you feel the distance between his characters. He also manages a few creepy visuals that get beyond the usual slasher film clichés. But he’s working with this script and even his apparent promise doesn’t save such drivel.
You can’t even really blame it on the leads. Unlike the usual B-listers that populate the horror genre’s casting call, we’ve got almost A’s Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale. Sure, they aren’t Robert DeNiro and Meryl Streep but they’re decent actors and they don’t embarrass themselves here. It’s the script and the story that is embarrassing.
This idea just isn’t executed well. It’s like the writers just couldn’t find a believable way to keep these two trapped in the hotel. They were numerous times that this couple could have run away and yet they kept running back to their room, a room they knew to be a death trap.
But the worst part is how Vacancy sputters out near the end. Suddenly two of the three menaces are easily disposed of. So much for that threat. The obligatory last battle of wills between plucky heroine and evil villain leader is pointlessly drug out while managing to create no real suspense. The only thing this fight scene generates is a whole lot of the villain screaming “you stupid bitch!” Screenwriters everywhere are rolling in their graves.
There is a silly bit where 911 is dialled, a cop shows up only to be disposed of too quickly, and then… nothing. Do these film makers actually believe that the police send an officer out to check out a 911 call and don’t send out more when he doesn’t check in or return?
Then, the final straw is how ridiculous the last scene gets. It’s the kind of moment that makes an audience scream out, “come on!” It’s an insult.
A bad script sinks a film no matter what. Don’t believe me, waste your money on Vacancy and see for your self.