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One of the most anticipated horror films of the year, Ti
West’s haunted-hotel chiller THE INNKEEPERS has just been added to the Fantasia
program—a surprise move that recalls the similar last-minute addition of THE
HOUSE OF THE DEVIL back in 2009.
Ti West blew audiences away with that masterful tale of
suspense, supported by a steady build-up structure, creepy atmospherics and
genuinely inspired aesthetic evoking the Satan-scare films of the ’80s. HOUSE
OF THE DEVIL is one of my favorite contemporary horror films, and when THE
INNKEEPERS failed to turn up in the 2011 lineup, my heart skipped a beat.
Luckily for me—and for all Fantasia attendees—it was just a matter of time
before the stars aligned (read: the programmers took the pressing matter into
their hands) to bring us Montrealers the much-anticipated film.
Ti West’s minimalist, almost deconstructive approach to
genre filmmaking is incredibly inspiring, and serves as a reminder that quieter
and restrained stories can be as (if not more) effective than any hectically
edited jump-scare bonanza. Achieving great feats of atmosphere with very
limited budgets, THE ROOST (2005) and TRIGGER MAN (2007) hinted at West’s
fascination with minimal storylines and methodically suspenseful progressions,
while CABIN FEVER 2: SPRING FEVER (2009) introduced us to his playful side—despite
West disowning the much-tampered-with film. THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL saw him
fully come into his own as a filmmaker and up-and-coming auteur of the macabre.
In THE INNKEEPERS, tomboy Claire and geeky Luke (Sarah
Paxton and Pat Healy) are part-time workers at the (real-life) Yankee Pedlar
Inn in Connecticut, and full-time amateur supernatural investigators.
Fortunately for them, the hotel sees few guests, giving them plenty of time to
practice their hobby—and uncover the Yankee Pedlar’s darkest secrets. If the aforementioned
films are any indication, THE INNKEEPERS should be a chillingly slow-burning
and original film, and a breath of fresh air in a world saturated with sequels,
remakes, 3D gimmicks, torture porn and fake scares.
An essential addition to this year’s phenomenal Fantasia
lineup, THE INNKEEPERS will have its Canadian premiere on Monday, July 25 at
9:45 p.m. at the Hall Theatre. For more information, visit the film’s Fantasia
for a taste of things to come, read Fango’s first set report on the movie here and our review here.
FANGO AT FANTASIA
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