Cynic and Idealist

Coming off watching two horror films that were quite alright, my expectations were quite high. Especially following the Autopsy of Jane Doe, I expected to jump straight out of my seat. However, The Innkeepers was not able to provide that feeling.

The Innkeepers a movie directed by Ti West released in the year 2001 is about two co-workers namely Claire and Luke on the last weekend of Pedlar Yorker Inn. The movie is about whether ghosts are real or not, and apparently they are. Both believed that ghosts were real and were even seen going through the supposed haunted halls of the inn with ghost hunting equipment.

Claire was the a young girl that have recently dropped out of college and is suffering from severe asthma. She enjoys ghosts stories such as the material her co-worker wrote in his blog about their workplace being haunted. On its last weekend before shutting down, Claire along with Luke wanted to debunk the myth surrounding the theories that prevailed through the years about their hotel. Luke chronically filed most of his experiences in a website that he managed with Maddy O’Reily being the most prominent story.

Despite the inn closing, two guests arrived to stay for the last weekend, one being Leanne Jones, who was an actress but is now a medium and another man, that wanted to enjoy his last memories of the hotel as he spent his wedding night there with wife. Leanne being a medium helped Claire about her troubles when she encounters while warning her not to go the basement. The following day, and it being the last night of the hotel, Claire and Luke drank and in their blank state, she invited him to go to the basement in search of connecting with Madeline O’Reilly, which they eventually did and left Luke startled. He then admitted that everything he wrote was not true and he didn’t believe in any shred of it.

Looking at the movie, it is about the battle of the cynic and the idealist, Luke against Claire and Leanne Jones. On one hand, we see Claire that are firmly believe in ghosts even wanting to see them. She constantly sought out the ghost of Maddy O’Reily, which led to her demise. On the contrary, Luke was most probably only bored on his job and that was why he made his blogs, because in the end he admitted to just making it up. Lastly, Leanne Jones was a little bit of both. She believed in the supernatural, but she was also afraid of what they could do.

In Noel Carroll’s “Why Horror?”, we see the paradox of horror wherein horror attracts audiences but it does so by means of the “expressly repulsive”. He says,” as we saw in my analysis of horror narratives, these stories, with great frequency, revolve around proving, disclosing, discovering, and confirming the existence of something that is impossible, something that defies standing conceptual schemes.” People are attracted to horror due to the fact that they are uncover secrets to the unimaginable. Claire clearly afraid of ghosts as she showed fear in her encounters, and yet she was adamant in looking for them. Myself included, I wanted Claire to see the ghost but at the same time, I wanted her to live, because I don’t think anything would come out of looking for it. Ultimately, the jury is out on whether Claire was killed by the supernatural or was just killed by herself and is up to the viewers point of view but simply, it is the curiosity that killed the cat.

I did not quite like the slow build-up of the movie as it peaks toward the end of narrative. The ending was a bit rushed as it did not provide us with an explanation for the things that happened in a way, it blindsided me. For the most time of the film, nothing really happens then it suddenly climax in the end. The mystery of the death was buried along the closing of the establishment. We were forced to deal with untimely death of Claire. It was a disservice to the character as the film to tried so hard to build the main character up only for her to die so quickly. Overall, the dynamic of the movie was quite lacking. From the introduction of the characters to the supernatural and the encounter of the both entities does not quite gel together. However, all things said it is just my opinion on the movie.



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