Who are the keepers of the inn? Why, that would be Claire and Luke of course – two quirky twenty-somethings who like to gab at the front desk and browse the internet. The Innkeepers are also two amateur paranormal investigators.
What inn do Clair and Luke keep? It is called the Yankee Pedlar Inn. It is an historical hotel in New England that is supposedly haunted. It has long creepy corridors, a spooky basement, a wide, square spiral staircase – all the workings of a good haunted house flick. The limited number of guests highlights an atmosphere of eerie abandon. It is the weekend before the inn is to close for good. This is the last chance for Clair and Luke to capture supernatural activity on their specialized recording equipment. So during their last days as employees of the Yankee Pedlar Inn, they are hoping for a ghost or two pop out and say “Boo!”
Normally, I am cautious about posting spoilers. But for this review I don’t think it will be a concern. There really is nothing to spoil! This story has no twists, no hidden meanings, no symbolism. What you see is what you get. What does one see? A haunted hotel that has ghosts that do stuff. That’s it. When all was said and done, I thought that for sure I had missed something. I went to Wikipedia, IMDB, rottentomatoes, searching for a missed clue that would tie everything together and make me say “oh wow! I didn’t realize THAT was going on!” There is no such clue. There is no “THAT” there.
For me, the somewhat empty plot drags the film downward on the likeability scale. But this does not mean it’s a bad film. The characters are interesting, especially Claire and Luke. Their idiosyncrasies seem fit for one another, making for some interesting character chemistry. In this way, the film plays out like a crossover between Clerks and your average haunted house movie. There are little snippets of comedic realism here and there. For instance, there is a moment where Clair is frightened. There is foreboding silence. Tension is building. And then we hear Luke flushing the toilet. The side characters (the hotel guests) are interesting as well. They have limited screen time, but their moments in from of the camera are worthwhile.
Ti West directs this film. He is also the director of The House of the Devil. The aforementioned film seems to be superior to The Innkeepers, at least according to critics on IMDB, rottontomatoes. I will have to check out The House of the Devil. It seems as if it’s a haunted house film. And while I do not dislike The Innkeepers, I was hoping for something a little bit better. Maybe this “better” will be found inside The House of Devil? Who knows?