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Vacancy starts with Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale bitching about raccoons and squirrels. They drive into unfamiliar roads because people who bitch about raccoons and squirrels are probably lost and probably idiots. Eventually, they stumble into a cheap motel with complete stereotypes of Hi-I'm-Your-Friendly-Mechanic! and It-Is-I-The-Annoying-Motel-Manager-With-A-Moustache!

After fooling around with my movie buddy during the first fifteen minutes of boring character and plot building of the film, we hushed down to let the creepy set in. The couple eventually found tapes of strangers killing different people inside this certain room. They of course, eventually realize that this certain room is the room they're staying in. Loud knocking from doors to walls ensues, with no one out there to answer. The phone rings. Again, no one answers. The lights flicker on and off. The camera lightly but urgently shakes. The audience gets to see random images of screaming victims from the tape and fearful faces of Wilson and Beckinsale. The camera continues its light and urgent shaking. Then, everything goes dark.

Yummy classic stuff.

However, after the yummy stuff, I go back to fooling around with my movie buddy. For after being chased around inside the room by masked strangers who keep them from escaping, they manage to huddle in a corner and reflect about their dilemma. "What do you think they're doing?" Beckinsale asks. "I think they're enjoying themselves." Wilson answers.

How... existentialist.

And you know it's only going to suck more as the camera zooms out, we see the couple on a TV screen, and then we see the back of Mr. Moustache Manager. We shall call him Pringles from this point on (just for the heck of a shorter nickname). So anyhow, we see Pringles watch his recent little victims and all that is missing is a burst of evil mwahahahahaha.

I abhor Pringles. I believe he is the main reason why this movie went downhill to hell. First of all, you don't show the face of the psycho villain until you get to almost the end of the flick. Second, Pringles and his masked minions should be smarter for people who already videotaped thousands of their killings. They shouldn't have killed that policeman. The cops would send back other cops to investigate, freaking newbies. Thirdly, a villain who talks a lot is not scary. And really, Pringles is not even witty. If I were his victim, I would have immediately thought of going for the gun hanging on the wall in his reception area and shoot his annoying mouth shut.

Beckinsale did well. For that bitchy damsel in distress. The one who drops her cellphone while running (parallel to those damsels who always, always broke the heel of their shoe once they needed to run away like hell from the killers). The one who whines but does not actually do anything to help her husband. The one who cries. The one who breaks down because she has a flashback of their dead son, and how she is so sorry that the couple are going through a divorce, and then they both french kiss and make up, and then they almost have sex except they couldn't because there are strangers out to kill them, unless they invite the killers, and that would have been cool because orgies are cool. If it's still not obvious, I like unfunny sex jokes. Also, Beckinsale looks more boring than a doorknob in this movie.

I found Luke Wilson cute in this movie. Even if I could not stop cracking jokes about his nose, he did very well with the little character they gave him. They tried making him smart, just a little bit. Wilson tries reviewing the tapes to spot flaws and find out where the killers attack from. He's the one who figures out that there's a trap door on the floor. He's the one who rips a part of his girl's shirt and leaves it hanging on the window to mislead the bad guys. He's the one who instructs his girl what to do. He's the Manly Husband. Who gets stabbed, left bleeding on the floor for one night, but miraculously wakes up alive in the end. He's Superman.

I didn't really expect much from Vacancy. From the font of the title to its music, it wasn't pretending to be anything but a usual suspense, cooked to deliver a jump-out-of-your-seats flick. But we stayed in our seats. We ended up being like Beckinsale who kept whining and whining after the movie. It's probably the fact that it had a good premise, an almost good start. What destroyed it was the fact that Wilson, Beckinsale, and Pringles never seemed to have watched a single suspense flick in their entire lives.



chonx said...

that and luke wilson could not pull a clive owen to save his life. the two leads are boring.

tina said...

maybe it's just 'cause i haven't read any jessica zafra reviews in a while, but... you sound kinda like her. ^^ kinda. 'specially with the whole giving-characters-funny-names thing.

Claire said...

cool, i used to read jessica zafra all the time. i'm sure i was influenced one way or another. :D although i think the giving nicknames i got from another author i used to read back in highschool too. name's christopher pike. :)

what does it mean to "pull a clive owen"?

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