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Vacancy 2: The First Cut

3.8 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Experience the gruesome beginnings of Mr. Smith and his hotel of horrors in this terrifying prequel to Vacancy, starring Agnes Bruckner (Murder by Numbers). Suspecting only a night of hard beds and tacky décor, Caleb, his sexy new fiancée Jessica and his sarcastic best friend Tanner, check into the Meadow View Inn. They have no idea that it is not just another lonely motel, but a horrific trap where guests are brutally tortured and murdered while the sadistic maniac Mr. Smith and his greedy accomplices film the grisly slayings for profit. Caught in a deadly game or cat and mouse, the three young friends now must fight to survive.

"Make sure you get it on camera!" That's the creepy mantra of the killers in Vacancy 2: The First Cut, a prequel to 2007's Vacancy. And why not a prequel? The premise of Vacancy, with its motel room rigged with video cameras (to film the murders of the unsuspecting boarders), was already in place at the beginning of that movie. So here's the backstory. One of the killers from the first film (played by Scott G. Anderson) is back, helping refine the system of instant snuff filmmaking, along with help from two mutton-headed Peeping Toms (David Moscow and Brian Klugman). Their main target this time is a trio of travelers: snuggly lovers Agnes Bruckner and Trevor Wright, and obnoxious third wheel Arjay Smith. Among the film's decent surprises (and there are a few of them) is the fact that the body count doesn't go in exactly the order you might suspect--and the whole movie actually begins with a pretty good fakeroo in that department. Nothing in the picture, which was penned by Vacation scribe Mark L. Smith, is anything more than basic chase-'n-slash, but director Eric Bross keeps the thing moving swiftly along. It also has the advantage of a real actress, Bruckner, who was so good in Blue Car as a teenager. Vacancy 2 went straight to DVD, and one couldn't make a case for theatrical release; but as straight-to-DVD goes, it's cut (sorry) above the average. --Robert Horton

Special Features

  • Deleted scenes
  • Caught on Tape: Behind the Scenes of Vacancy 2
  • Behind the Facade: Constructing the Meadow View Inn
  • Filmmakers and cast commentary

Product Details

  • Actors: David Shackelford, Lola Davidson, Don Smith, Joe Reegan, Chris Nelson
  • Directors: Eric Bross
  • Producers: Hal Lieberman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Portuguese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Thai, English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Portuguese, Thai, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 20, 2009
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,141 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Vacancy 2: The First Cut" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Vacancy 2: The First Cut follows very close to the original, with the main exception being that it's a prequel where we can see the beginnings of the whole motel-as-deathtrap theme. In place of Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson we have a trio - engaged couple Agnes Bruckner and Trevor Wright, and their friend Arjay Smith - that checks into the secluded motel where the psychotic staff runs their own real-life snuff video outfit, utilizing hidden cameras to film the terrorizing and killing of the hotel's occupants.

In the first Vacancy, the premise was deadly effective and seemed believable; here, it comes off contrived. Part of the problem is that it's a prequel and showing how it all came about just felt forced. Prequels often have a hard time because they often over-explain what didn't need to be explained; in horror prequels it often tries to tear away the shroud of mystery that's remained even after the villain or phenomenon had their origins partially revealed in the original. In Exorcist - The Beginning (Widescreen Edition), it worked because when they went into the backstory that had been hinted at in the original, they retained the element of the unknown by hinting at a much broader backstory way further in the past. In Ginger Snaps Back - The Beginning, it added in a much more otherworldy air of eeriness than its predecessors had.
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Format: DVD
If we have learned anything from horror films it is that if you are out on the road and need a place to stay for the night, find a name brand franchise. Deranged killers tend to shy away from Holiday Inns or Motel Six's. Vacancy 2: The First Cut is a prequel to the moderately entertaining 2007 film, Vacancy. This one starts with a difficult to swallow prologue about how authorities found over 200 videotaped murders at the Pinewood Motel. 200? I mean wouldn't you think that at least a few of those 200 victims might have called a friend, family member, or business associate to say, "...hey, I'm staying at the Pinewood Inn and I'll seeya tomorrow..." And maybe once they disappeared, those friends, relatives or co-workers might have told authorities that the last time they heard from them was the Pinewood Motel? I guess I'm just over thinking it...

Anyway the prologue goes onto say that this film is the story of the first victims, virtually giving away its hand as to the fate of the guests. A young couple, Jessica (Bruckner) and Caleb (Trevor Wright), and their friend, Tanner (Arjay Smith), are traveling to North Carolina when they decide to stop for the night at the Meadowview Inn. To call this place a dump would be an insult to dumps suffice to say that if the person of average common sense saw it, they'd keep driving. A quick intro will show how the motel's operators transitioned from filming secret sex tapes to snuff films with this trio as the first targets. Plans go quickly askew however and soon the three young guests are on the run from the murderous trio of motel workers.

The main thing that Vacancy 2 lacks is that it doesn't have suspense of the first film. In Vacancy, we weren't sure what was happening to the characters. Was someone merely watching them?
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By Franci on February 20, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Vacancy's prequel is just your average Horror-thriller actually. In my opinion, it's not as good and suspenseful as the first one. I had higher expectations for this one, so it fell a little short for me. What I did like is that it adhered right to it's endeavor of making more sense of the original's premise, like a prequel should (not always the case with prequels and sequels). There's not much character development however, so you don't care much about them (just a lot of arguing); but there is decent acting, effects, and cinematography here. Overall I thought it was ok.
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Format: DVD
This film was directed by Eric Bross (mostly with a history in TV but is now working on The Boy Who Cried Werewolf so this must have somehow gotten him some attention) and Written by Mark L. Smith (Who wrote the original Vacancy and The Hole.)

While I enjoyed the first Vacancy in a slasher film with a twist kind of way it didn't lend itself too well for a sequel. It made it clear that it was a story that took place at the end of an era of horror where people were being killed at the hotel where the killings occurred. Clearly with so much history the film left itself open for a series of anti-climactic sequels with knowing how it would end. Picking up on this without wanting to ruin the feel of the film Mark wrote the one prequel that would make sense - an origin story that still had a slight twist in it. Ideally he will stop here as it still plays out decently enough without ruining the idea of Vacancy though turning it into a franchise between the origin and end of the film would kill what he's put together so far.

I'm going to start by saying if you enjoyed the first Vacancy you will probably have a good time watching this one, if you haven't though you are going to hate it. I say this because the film mirrors the story of the first one in many aspects even while being an origin story.

SpoilersWhat we get is how the owner of the hotel because involved in making snuff films of anyone who comes alone to the hotel as well as how they end up picking their victims. After this point it's pretty stable that it follows the concept of the original movie with the change of 3 victims instead of 2. You do have to give the director credit for making the three friends both likable and believable as people who have known each other and been friends together for years.
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