I finally got around to watching this charming ghost story by writer/director Ti West, whose Cabin Fever 2 was a surprisingly good reframing of Eli Roth’s original. The Innkeepers is the story of Claire and Luke (Sara Paxton and Pat Healy), two young people in charge of an old small town inn on its last weekend of operation. The inn is vacant apart from a visiting actress (Kelly McGillis), a newly separated mother with her son, and a 19th century ghost that Luke swears to have seen once and is now trying to capture on audio. Claire offers to help, carrying his tape recorder and microphone through the deserted rooms while he sleeps during her part of the overnight shift.
Storywise, The Innkeepers is a straight-up traditional ghost story; the kind of thing they used to make all the time in the 1970s, possibly for television (I was reminded often of the original version of Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark). West has a gift for creating suspense through camera movement, and the additional element of the audio recording helps. This is not a film for gore enthusiasts; most of the horror is generated in the viewer’s mind. I enjoyed it a lot, both for what it is and for what it reminds me of.