21 January 2009 | hitchcockthelegend
Now that's quite esnuff of that, thank you very much.
Grieving over the loss of their son, David and Amy Fox are driving thru the night heading towards their destination...the signing of the divorce papers!. David unwisely leaves the interstate looking for a short cut and swerves to avoid hitting a raccoon, this causes engine trouble and eventually they have to settle for staying at a grotty roadside motel until the car can be fixed in the morning. Upon attempting to relax in their dirty and poorly decorated room, they are disturbed by loud banging on the doors to their room, this is merely the start of a night of terror as the Fox's will be forced to fight to stay alive in the confines of this Horror Motel!
Seen it before? Yes we all most certainly have, from proto slashers to Euro terrors, the couple under siege formula is as old as the hills themselves. But Vacancy has such a sense of fun and a unique use of its plot setting, that even a terribly formulaic cop out towards the end is mostly forgiven. The setting is one dirty hole of a motel, but the dirt is not merely confined to the structure and basic house keeping of the place, the worst dirt comes in a terrifying form that is fully formed from the moment we meet the creepy motel manager (a wonderfully cheesy Frank Whaley). From here our intrepid couple, very well played by Luke Wilson & Kate Beckinsale, must use the most basic resources to hand, to hopefully escape the clutches of masked assailants intent on gutting them in the name of entertainment.
What follows is the usual jumps and perilous set ups, and a quirky line in labyrinth adventure. But then that ending that almost derails the whole picture, it does hurt it because we the viewers can only feel let down that the makers chose to not stay with what would have been an impacting turn of events. But for a film that's homaging films (and thriller maestros) from the past and clearly doing what it set out to do, it's to me a forgivable error. It's not taking itself too seriously, and you shouldn't too, just check in with the Fox's and get involved with the thrills. 6.5/10