Sunday, June 17, 2007

VACANCY - pretty vacant

There's no point in asking why Hollywood insists on churning out these derivative, mediocre horror flicks. The answer's simple. They're relatively cheap - requiring only deserted motels/warehouses/army facilities and C-list stars. You don't even need to bother with an original plot.

In the case of VACANCY, the standard issue victims are played by Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson. They discover that their creepy motel room is actually a snuff movie set. The first fifty minutes of the movie are actually pretty well put together and successfully ramp up the tension. DP Andrzej Sekula creates a suitably grungy look in contrast to the eerily clean feel of AMERICAN PSYCHO. It's also quite nice to have protagonists that you can sympathise with because they're half-intelligent adults as opposed to whiny-ass teenagers. And despite their C-list status, Wilson and Beckinsale actually perform pretty well. Early on they have a conversation in which they discuss their impending divorce. It feels real and heartfelt. I almost suspected them of having some range. The last twenty minutes of the movie are as weak as a very weak thing, though.

I don't know why I persist in watching this stuff. I mean, it's not like it's actively bad, but it certainly doesn't push out the boat in the way that the best J-horror does. I feel that we're at the edge of a trend that leads toward the best-selling movie in 2055 being called "ASS".

VACANCY is already on release in the US, Russia, Egypt and the UK. It opens in Singapore, Denmark, Germany, Malaysia, Finland, Italy, Sweden, Hungary, the Netherlands and Slovakia in July. It opens in Belgium, France, Brazil and Australia in August. It opens in Argentina in September and in Spain in November 2007.

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