The feeling of someone else with you when you know your alone can be quite frightening. I’ve walked through many hotel hallways after getting some ice where I swear that I think somebody is around, yet when I turn my head, the hallway remains empty. There are many stories about haunted hotels where the spirit of some guest or owner still lurks. One of my favorites is the mysteries of the Mission Inn in Riverside, California. It is a beautiful, Spanish style building that was the vision of Christopher Columbus Miller, a world explorer that was also a civil engineer. It is said that he and his whole family still roam the hotel’s catacombs, large stairwell and the presidential lounge keeping an eye on their eternal home.
A creepy bed and breakfast is the home of the spirit of Madeline O'Malley in The Innkeepers. The idea of a haunted hotel movie has already been perfected by Stanley Kubrick in The Shining. This may be no masterpiece, but this is a chilling ghost story. This is the kind of movie I would love to see while I’m sitting by my fireplace, with a blanket and some hot chocolate (sorry, but I don’t drink coffee). Even as I write this review, I think I might be hearing the cries of this fictional ghost.
The Innkeepers starts with a young woman named Claire (played by Sara Paxon) and her supervisor Luke as they are overseeing the Yankee Pedlar Inn on its final weekend before closing. Both of them are ghost hunters and often replay the story of Madeline O’Malley, a bride who hanged herself in the 1800’s when her husband abandoned her on their honeymoon. They welcome their final guests that include a former actress named Leanne Reese-Jones (played by Kelly McGillis) who is in town for a psychics convention.
As Claire is keeping watch in the night, she starts to hear some noises coming from the garage. She starts investigating by taking Luke’s paranormal device to listen. She starts to hear some faint voices and music, and even witnesses the lobby’s grand piano play itself. But if you call a stranger, expect them to return. Claire starts to see something in her room when she tries to sleep. She gets warnings from Luke and Leanne to not go into the basement. Claire’s curiosity only makes her want to go in deeper and to possibly find the body of O’Malley that was never recovered.
This was eerie, yet interesting little film. The film does start slow and really takes its time to start showing of some paranormal activity. The Innkeepers may not be for most modern film audiences if all they want are some cheap jumps and spooks. This movie builds all around it’s creepy atmosphere, giving you the feeling that your staying at this haunted house. Everything seems normal at first, but you start to feel what Claire feels when she hears the voice through her little ghost tracking device. Much of the movie’s core is within it’s backstory and the people trying to solve that mystery.
I’ll give this four bride ghosts out of five. Keep in mind that the real ghost looks much scarier. If you’re willing to sit down by a fire and watch a classic ghost story, then this is for you.