Can I get an amen that Ti West’s The Innkeepers is an awesome movie? To give a brief plot synopsis, we find ourselves at the last remaining weekend of The Yankee Peddler Inn. With the closing of the Inn, our two heroes of this film, Claire and Luke, will find themselves without jobs. Luke claims to have seen full apparitions of the alleged resident ghost, Madeline O’Mally at the hotel. Madeline has the standard ghost story of a tragic tale of love gone awry. Luke builds a website to help “promote” the haunted hotel in order to generate interest to keep it open. Now it’s up to Claire and Luke to get Madeline to show up and prove to the world (aka the people on the internet) she’s really there.
The above plot description is one of the major reasons I adored this movie. Claire and Luke felt so real to me, I swear I know them! Many of us have worked in “dead-end” minimum wage (or barely above that) jobs like being concierges at a not-so-flashy place like The Yankee Peddler. You show up, clock in, and either be a pessimistic ass like Luke, or a nice but hardly over achieving employee like Claire. I could see myself putting on my slightly over sized Yankee Peddler Inn branded polo shirt and dragging myself off to work with these two. Maybe you can’t relate, but those who can may feel the same way I do. Then there is the ghost story itself. It’s not exactly original or new. But, that seems to be the point. Again, it feels familiar. You know the story, it’s from the little old hotel or historic place in your hometown. Everyone knows the story of some legend ghost and some friend of a friend who’s “actually” seen it. You combine those two facets of the story together, and I totally get it. I would be there doing amatuer EVP sessions and trying to catch Madeline on film in order to not lose my job.
We have a few more characters as well. There is the sitcom star of yesteryear turned psychic named Leanne Rease-Jones who is staying at the hotel. And what a great name for that character! Let’s just say she offers Claire some good advice about communicating with dead. There is also a bitchy lady and her kid staying at the hotel. And a sad, droopy old man who shows up as well to stay the final night.
I am not ashamed to admit I am a total Ti West fan with what he’s put out so far. He seems to understand how to build suspense, creep you out, AND make you laugh. I think that is harder than it sounds. I’m excited to see what he is going to do in the future. I guess his style is polarizing. Either you love what he does as a director, or you don’t at all. Personally, I get it and love it.
I am just going to end it there. I really don’t want to spoil anything. Check it out and see what you think. And try hard not to be too jaded while viewing it! I hope you enjoy the movie as much as I did.