A couple are stranded at a desolate, run-down motel run by a twitchy manager - are those real murders on the in-room video tapes, and why are there multiple video cameras throughout the motel? A fast-paced thriller!
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Fantastic thriller!! I appreciated that it didn't have too much gore...it's terror factor came mostly from psychological suspense. I'm surprised that this film only gets a 6.2 rating on IMDB...I don't agree with that at all. I would rate this film a good 7.5 for sure. I thought the actions that the couple took to try and save themselves were realistic as well. Frank Whaley is great as the creepo motel manager! You should give this movie a try
The opening credits take a long time and there is this ultra annoying scoring going on, then the movie starts and the man and woman are muttering stuff to each other, it just reminds me of actors saying memorized script lines, i couldn't take any more of it after 5 or 10 minutes, it was just so slow and annoying. Maybe it gets good if you keep watching it, but i doubt it, those two actors were just not seeming real and this thing was seeming so slow I couldn't take it any more.
Reviewed in the United States on November 12, 2014
(thoughts upon watching Vacancy for the second time)
The film begins with a rather remarkable credit sequence in which we glide through a maze of animated names. Its no spoiler to reveal that this is a movie about a couple who check into a motel and then discover they're inside a death trap. But because the logistics of that trap have been so precisely thought out that it's a joy to watch as the the couple, played by Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale, try to reason their way out of that trap while at the same time playing out all the subtle shifts of status that take place between two otherwise self-reliant adults undergoing the bitter end stage of a marriage.
Solid story, good acting, and truly scary (and plausible) premise, which is well executed. If you haven't seen this and are looking for the kind of scare that makes you wanna double check the locks on your doors and windows before bed, rent this flick.
The next time you are on a trip and need to stay at a hotel, you may just think twice (and end up sleeping in your car!). David and Amy are on a road trip and end up taking the back roads. Late at night their car breaks down about a mile from the nearest gas station (which is closed) and a motel which isn't. They get a room for the night, and David puts in one of the homemade VHS tapes to pass the time, but what he and Amy see changes their world. The tapes show one after another snuff film made in the very room they are in!
This is all the more terrifying because it could really happen. This is not sci fi or CGI monsters. If you watch this, and I recommend you do, don't watch it alone!
I'm 50 min into the movie and I thought I should write a review before the end. It is a good thriller no doubt. However, the male lead is so annoying (I hate the personality being portrayed). It would been a 4.5 stars, but -1.5 for the male lead, but that's just me disliking him.
This is one of the few films of its kind that actually rises above the mere thriller genre into the realm of art. In large part this is due to the always fresh, always outstanding camerawork of Andrzej Sekula. Yet even aside from that brilliant photographer, the characters of this film break out of the typical "run and scream" modus operandi. The Luke Wilson character is one of the few (if not the only) of his type to actually DO SOMETHING to try and remedy a desperate situation. Usually in movies like this, opportunities for portrayals of profound courage are ignored in favor of some sort of spinelessness that I can hardly believe real men in real danger would ever resort to. Kate Beckinsale was, as usual, flawless. Apparently Sarah Jessica Parker was originally cast for this role, and I think that would have been a huge mistake. I imagine this may have been just one more "scream queen" role if Parker had been cast, while Beckinsale shows us a genuine portrayal of overwhelming fear.
Reviewed in the United States on November 15, 2018
I saw this movie on tv one time and while it is kind of bad I like corny or just generally not so good horror films... I don't quite know why but either way it won't play at all not even to the menu. Every time I put it in it just says 'No Disc' immediately and I don't think it's my player because other movies work... this one I haven't gotten to work once... my luck I guess
2.0 out of 5 starsA lackluster movie that could have been much better
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 19, 2019
Vacancy offers an intriguing concept, but it fails in its execution on many levels. Being too predictable, lacking real twists and even being somewhat tame. It's interesting that they tried to offer suspense over gore, but sadly it doesn't work when the bad guys come across as more comic relief than hardened killers. They acted too dumb to be taken as a real threat. From there it just failed to really pull off any of the ideas it tried and inevitably ended in a fairly lackluster manner.
5.0 out of 5 starsCheck In & Keep Yourselves Engaged!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 14, 2018
If you’re a fan of classic motel movies such as Psycho” & “The Shining” (1980) then be sure to check out this killer of a thriller. “Vacancy” (2007) is one of the best modern motel movies I’ve seen in a long time. Not so much a horror but very much chills & thrills you to the bone. A great cast giving you tense & suspense from start to finish. I like movies with a small cast & one that is set in pretty much one place all at one time. It moves at a steady pace with a great start to finish. This is one to watch especially if you’re a fan of Luke Wilson and/or Kate Beckinsale. With an added bonus filled with Special features you can also watch Featurettes including Cast & Crew / Behind the Scenes etc. Check this one out but don’t forget to check in first! 100% great film!
3.0 out of 5 starsOnce you've checked in... You can't check out..
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 31, 2015
A young married couple becomes stranded at an isolated motel and finds hidden video cameras in their room. They realize that unless they escape, they'll be the next victims of a snuff film.
Director: Nimrod Andal directs the film well. Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson have good chemistry and give good perfomances as the young married couple and a decent supporting cast. The film does a couple of scares here and there, but it focuses mainly on the unseen terror they go through. The film has a decent build of suspense and is tightly paced and not a second is wasted. Good character development and simple story to follow. The villains in the film are quite menacing majority of the time, the manager of the hotel is creepy and plays the character well.
Overall a good horror/thriller that keeps you watching. Enjoy!!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 10, 2010
This is a good film to go for if you are looking for a decent horror/thriller that is full of suspense and surprise. If you are looking for character development and dialogue however, this isn't your cup of tea, although I have to add that the characters relationship is more convincing than many I have seen in horrors before. The two main characters (a married couple who get lost while driving at night and end up in a nasty motel owned by a sadist) are nice enough people, which helps as I genuinely wanted them to live. Unfortunately this is what made the last minute so annoying. I won't spoil it for you but I have to warn any potential buyers that the ending is a cliffhanger, the problem with that of course being that we don't find out how it all ends in the next film - which is a mediocre prequel! And, as of August 2013, there's no Vacanacy 3 available to offer closure. I won't be buying Vacancy 2 but this film is well worth a frustrating ending for a decent thrill ride.
A few plus points:
* Frank Whaley, the actor playing the sadistic motel owner Mason, is fantastic, really creepy and unnerving. When he loses his temper and freaks out you start getting seriously worried about what he'll do next
* It gets suspenseful pretty quickly so we're not left waiting for half the film. I've personally seen too many movies now that left the good bits until the very last quarter, but thankfully this isn't one
* The plot is close to believable - a motel owner makes a living making real-life snuff movies by hiding secret cameras in the bedrooms of his clients and setting his killers on them. The helpless couple try to escape but are caught and forced to fight for their lives. You won't look at a run-down motel the same way again
* It's Hitchcockian in tone and layout (think of Psycho) but with a modern horror sensibility and a grimier style
* It's one of those horror films you really do want to watch again, despite the disappointing ending, because it delivers on suspense. There are a few cliches but not to the detriment of the whole thing
5.0 out of 5 starsShocking, frightening, immaculate little thriller.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 23, 2008
This is one of those stellar gems when an actor or actress tries something that expands their range, and it pays off tremendously. Seeing the normally 'sweet/comedic' Luke Wilson playing a depressed and regretful divorcee on a reluctant journey with his soon to be ex before they wind up stranded in a cheap motel together is surprisingly believable and touching at the same time. But when the chills start, boy do they kick in like a hurricane. The tension builds just enough to have you straining not to shout at the TV, with grotbag decor, creepy staff and strange bangings enough to convince you they should never have checked in to begin with. It only gets more tense, twisted and sadistic from there, with the shocks wrung not from the modern over-reliance on gore (of which I must admit I'm also a fan) but on a finely tuned script and cunning action set pieces that leave you rooting frantically for the two sympathetic leads to get away. A fantastic film with excellent characters, filmed and acted immaculately. Rent this for a damned good (gore-light) night in!