Movie Details: View Here
Checking In: Behind-the-Scenes of Vacancy
Extended Snuff Films
Video: Widescreen 2.40:1 Color (Anamorphic)
Standard 1.33:1 Color
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1 [CC]
French: Dolby Digital Surround
Subtitles: English, French
Run Time: 85 min
Synopsis from DVD Cover:
When David (Luke Wilson) and Amy Fox's (Kate Beckinsale) car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, they are forced to spend the night at the only motel around, with only the TV to entertain them - until they discover that the low-budget slasher videos they find in their room were all filmed in the very room in which they're sitting. With hidden cameras now aimed at them - trapping them in rooms, crawlspaces, underground tunnels - and filming their every move, David and Amy must struggle to get out alive before they end up the next victims on tape.
Stupid damn movie. Seriously, it had me all the way through, then we got to the end, and ... well, I can't say what happens, but it's a big, sucking hole of disappointment.
But first, a sum up. David and Amy Fox (Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale), an unhappy couple on the road to divorce, are on their last road trip together when their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. As in any good horror flick, there's a deserted motel, a creepy hotel manager (Frank Whaley), and the claustrophobic feeling of being stuck. Then the weirdness starts, and once they discover a few VHS snuff films that turn out to have been shot in the room they are in, the Foxes discover they're in a fight for survival.
There's a lot about "Vacancy" to like. I mean, Luke Wilson is a surprisingly competent scary leading man, there are lots of scream-worthy moments, and the suspense and atmosphere totally kept me awake. As an estranged couple, David and Amy are well-written, and as a bad guy, I wish Whaley had been featured more, because he's just the epitome of big glasses creepy. Also of the good - this looks like one of the scary seventies slasher flicks that used to come on every weekend on cable, and I'm a fan of nostalgia. It all goes to hell, though, with the lamest ending ever, which I won't give away here, even though I should, just out of spite. I should also mention a few of the glaringly silly plot holes (don't the cops miss each other when one of them goes out on a call and never comes back?), but I won't.
Grudgingly, I'll admit that the Special Features are pretty good. The Alternate Opening was a bit useless, but the Making Of was actually interesting-I'm way too into things like set design, and this goes into a lot of detail about how they made the motel look authentically sleazy seventies. Also, for the sadist/voyeur, we get to see the longer versions of the snuff films, which are ... well done (is that a proper snuff film comment?). Oh, and there's one Deleted Scene with a raccoon that's not really needed, but that's still kind of amusing. Overall, an okay set of features.
So, I don't know if this is a good movie that just suffers from a mediocre ending, or a decent movie with a ridiculous ending. Either way, though, the first 77 or so minutes out of 80 kept me into it, then it was just a big ol' letdown. But, for suspense and entertainment, this isn't a bad pick.