Innkeepers: A Mastery of Boredom

I’d be lying if I said that I enjoyed the film the Innkeepers. I found it to be boring and slow paced. I didn’t find any of the characters likable or relatable, I found Claire to be too cold and apathetic while Luke just came off as pretentious and somebody who tries too hard.  Most of all for a horror film set in an inn it really disappointed in the horror part. I didn’t find it scary, for a movie that made me wait so long for the final monster, the final monster objectively wasn’t even that scary.

But I’d also be lying if I said that the movie was a horrible movie; contrary to that I think the film was actually well made. You must be asking, how so? You said it was boring and slow paced. It was, I found it extremely boring. But and I may very well be giving the director too much credit here, it was a film that was supposed to be boring.

The film the Innkeepers was about telling stories. It told the story of two innkeepers who worked in a motel and was bored out of their mind. To keep them entertained Luke made up a story about how he saw a ghost in the Inn once and so Claire in particular spends a lot of her free time looking for that ghost, to no avail. Claire is desperately waiting for the ghost to appear to her because of a mix of boredom and curiosity and it takes forever before it finally does. And when it finally does, well it doesn’t end up well for her. I guess what this movie does well is that it takes the viewers on a ride with the characters both the excitements and the boredom. It took us to the brief excitement and eventual demise of Claire during her encounter with the ghost and it took us to the boredom that he and Luke experienced on a daily basis.

The shows goes an extra mile and shows us the boredom of the characters by making us very bored ourselves. (And yes maybe I am just looking into this too much). Because most of the time story telling is based on a brief instance of excitement to separate from the otherwise boring and routine events. To make an interesting story  to tell people Lord knows how many boring and uneventful days you have to go through first. Take for example sitcoms, they show us in 20-30 minutes all the interesting things that happen to the sitcom characters, they go any longer than 30 minutes or any longer than 8-10 seasons and it becomes dull, simply because not enough interesting but believable things are happening anymore.  So yes a big chunk of the movie is uneventful but that’s because that’s how innkeepers lives actually are. I’d like to think that the pacing of the film was done intentionally, I mean any director could make a movie paced faster or shorter if they wanted to,  arguably making a movie like that would even be easier. So I’d like to think that the Innkeepers came out just as how it was supposed to. That’s an extremely daring move and one I can’t help but applaud the director for. With the technology that we have today and us living in the zenith of convenience our attention span is shorter than ever. Who knows how 3 hour long movies like the Godfather, Gone with the wind, or even Titanic would fare with movie-goers if it were released today? Releasing a film, let alone a horror film with that kind of pacing is an extremely gutsy move and one that you would have to believe the director is aware of.

Finally I can’t end this without talking about Claire and her desperation to escape the otherwise boring routine of taking care of an inn. She’s so bored that she actively wants to encounter a ghost whereas normal people would actually try to avoid encounters with ghosts at all cost. Claire is a tragic character in that regard. She was so bored with her life that she was willing to risk her life just for it to have more meaning, and when she ultimately comes to her demise, all hope and possibility that she could have had with life faded. If there’s one thing that this movie validates is that yes life is oftentimes but every now and then interesting things do happen and and those interesting things wouldn’t be so special if life weren’t so boring. As a whole life may often be dull but it’s also sprinkled with special little bits of interesting that still make the experience of life more valuable than anything else in the world.

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