As the opening credits rolled and the music began, I was scared. (Not as scared as after I let Brian and Carrie convince me that The Exorcism of Emily Rose wasn’t that scary.)
Vacancy begins as unhappy couple Amy (Kate Beckinsale) and David (Luke Wilson) find themselves lost and in their broken down car on a desolate road in the middle of no-where’s-ville. They’re at each other’s throats. At first, it’s off-putting as you have no background info with which to gauge what their beef might be. They walk to a secluded motel, devoid of guests. Creepy, right? It gets worse. The motel clerk (Frank Whaley) does nothing to ease the tension. He looks odd and acts strangely but the Foxes are so vexed by their predicament, they don’t give a damn. (Spoiler Alert: Read at Your Own Risk!)
Things quickly go from eerie to dire as the Foxes are terrorized in their room. First, with forceful knocks at the door with no one there and then, with mighty bangs from the room next door. Unnerved and agitated David decides to pop in the VHS tapes on the television, hoping for some porn. What he finds are snuff-type movies seemingly filmed in the hotel—specifically their room. Now, the Foxes must try to figure out a way to get out of this mess knowing that their every move is being filmed.
Vacancy is a worthwhile horror flick. I did have trouble suspending doubts that no other guests were found at this place. But, the ways the Foxes try to outwit the predators was interesting and believable. They didn’t make Amy a bumbling incompetent as many horror movies are wont to do with the ladies (for example, why do most of the women being chased in horror movies have to fall?). Some unique spins in this horror yarn. Beckinsale and Wilson have a authentic chemistry as a couple on the verge of a split who must rely on and trust each other to get out of the jam.
Director: Nimród Antal
Run time: 85 minutes