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A confined setting is a useful tool for thriller-makers, and Vacancy is definitely boxed in: a rundown motel way, way off the Interstate, the kind of place where unsuspecting movie characters go to get stabbed to death in the shower. If Vacancy doesn't quite live up to its Hitchcockian forbears, at least it provides 80 minutes of well-designed mayhem. You know somebody's paying attention just from the opening credits, a clever vortex with pounding music by Paul Haslinger. Then we meet unhappy couple Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale, driving along in the dark and forced to stay at the Pinewood Motel after a car breakdown. There's a night man (Frank Whaley, decadent) in the tradition of Dennis Weaver's Touch of Evil gargoyle, but the real mess of trouble is waiting in room number 4. Director Nimrod Antal, who scored a stylish international hit with the Hungarian thriller Kontroll, squeezes maximum juice out of the Route 66 atmosphere of the motel, although the movie doesn't get under your skin the way Kontroll did. Wilson and Beckinsale are a little too marquee-namish for this kind of heavy-breathing work, and the script doesn't give them much to play with. But hey, it's not that kind of movie. Where it really belongs is on the top half of a drive-in double bill, or maybe as a nightmare-scenario TV movie from the Seventies. Either way, it works. --Robert Horton
Stills from Vacancy (click for larger image)
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Avoid Your own Travel Disaster
By the Director
"Vacancy" provides the viewer with a very suspenseful ride pretty much throughout the entire movie.
A very interesting premise indeed for a horror film, well-shot, and well played by the lead actors, but sadly culminates to an anticlimactic ending.
Starts off at night as usual, car breaks down as usual, and they have to go to a run down place with creepy people that try to murder them..
Got both vacancy movies and pleased with them both! Thanks!Published 4 days ago by bobbi jo mary ulsh
I've long wanted to make it clear that I've nothing against Kate Beckinsale. Is it my fault that she decides to act in dud flicks like Stonehearst Asylum or (o god o god no)... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Binky Chottorrhœhia
This well directed and performed thriller has intelligent characters - a rarity in this type of story, where so often the viewer thinks (repeatedly): "Don't do that...! Read morePublished 2 months ago by May Gamgee
I recommend this film! Not a lot of gore or violence. Lots of suspense! Fast moving and kept my interest.Published 2 months ago by angels63
We take a wrong turn on a mountain road,
And the car breaks down, low and behold.
We walk to a motel and checkin to a room,
The manager wreaks of impending... Read more
Scary, disturbing, different from the normal suspenseful scary movie! Thank you very much!Published 3 months ago by Misty Mary