Vacancy

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Remo D
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Vacancy

Post by Remo D » Sun Apr 29, 2007 3:39 pm

Before I headed off to the movies today, I checked the weekend box office tally out of curiosity.

I see that DISTURBIA was the number one movie for the third week in a row... well, fine by me. I still have no real interest in checking it out (on my own, anyway), but I have no doubt that the Hitchcock formula still works and I'm actually pleased to see old-fashioned suspense strike such a chord with young viewers.

THE INVISIBLE did all right, but I doubt it'll last. El-Passo on that one for me, too. Three strikes: it's a remake of a film I haven't seen (sorry, I'm picky that way sometimes); it's another "troubled teen spirit" movie (yawn); and it's from the director of BLADE: TRINITY. Yeah, I know that David Goyer had a major role in CREATING the BLADE series, but after what he did with it as a director, I decided that I didn't want to pay to see any more of his work!

I also noticed that THE CONDEMNED tanked. GOOD! Yes, I quite liked a lot of the movie, and I wish that it had earned the right to do better. But that'll teach "deadly game show" movies to PREACH to me. Sheesh, I think even THE MARINE opened better. How's WWE gonna spin this disaster on RAW tomorrow night?

So then I headed off to VACANCY (as if DISTURBIA was the only movie covering familiar ground, eh?). It finally clicked that I was seeing two "snuff" related films in a row--now there's the movie theme that'll never die... for me, the opposite ends of the spectrum are illustrated by the brilliant VIDEODROME and the noxious 8MM... one ABOUT those who preach, and one that PREACHES, if you will. What did VIDEODROME have that 8MM didn't? "It has a philosophy. And that is what makes it dangerous."

Now, VACANCY? Pure entertainment. It doesn't occur to the filmmakers to tell you that snuff is WRONG--it simply trusts that the concept will scare the hell out of you if the film's any good.

And is it ever GOOD.

Don't show up late. Suffer through the ads and previews if you must, but don't miss the opening title sequence--it's one of the best in recent memory, with appropriate music to match. It sets the film up BEAUTIFULLY.

You already know the premise, right? Bickering couple, car breaks down, motel from hell (and not the Farmer Vincent variety). "Wait... isn't that THIS room?"

Okay, okay, there's a few petty little problems if you insist--the marital strife is something like DEAD CALM-lite, there's attention paid to details that end up meaning nothing (and I don't mean the Hitchcock "MacGuffin," either). Why the emphasis on the Fourth of July sparkler at the gas station (and for that matter, who on earth would LIGHT a sparkler next to a GAS PUMP)? Hell, when they gave out GOLDFISH at a gas station in DEAD OF WINTER, it was just as ridiculous, but at least they USED it for something!

Dismiss. Dismiss. VACANCY takes no time at all to get cracking, and it is one brutal, relentless ride--you will not be bored for a SECOND.

Trailers and reviews have already spoiled far too much of this film, so now it's time for me to shut up. Just go.

Damn, now I've got to go rent KONTROLL before they remake THAT!
My dog's breath smells like peanut butter...

...and I don't even have a dog!


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Lode
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Post by Lode » Tue May 01, 2007 9:06 am

Great review. I haven't seen it... I kinda wanted to. After reading this I REALLY want to.

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DylanDog
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Post by DylanDog » Sun Jun 10, 2007 8:09 pm

Agreed. Good movie and the title sequence was indeed excellent. But to be honest, it felt like it should have been used on another movie, like a Euro Spy film or something.

And though the movie was intense, did you notice how relatively bloodless it was? For a film about snuff, you'd think it would be much more graphic than it really was.
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