Is there anything exciting about manning the front desk of a hotel? Perhaps the first few weeks the variety of guests coming in and out would be an entertaining sight. After that, small conversations with the guests are enough to get you through each day. What if you were given the graveyard shift? The only action you see would probably be drunken people needing help or sleepless guests requesting for more blankets. In The Innkeepers, Claire and Luke fight boredom by searching for ghosts of the inn where they work which has been in existence since the 19th century and said to be haunted by a certain Madeline O’ Malley who hanged herself after her husband left her. The progression of the story was slow but Luke lightened it up with his quirky statements while Claire amused us by talking about random stuff and ogling at her favorite actress.
The story finally progresses when one of Luke’s ghost detecting instruments pick up piano music coming from the lobby. The story is nothing new but the way that it was presented was really the defining quality of the movie. I found myself looking away or closing my eyes at a film whose ghost appears only thrice during the entire 90 minutes of its screening. Looking back, the movie’s score and cinematography was an assault to the senses. The music and slow camera movement made us expect something when in fact nothing was there. When the real ghost appeared, the camera takes a long while to pan away so that the viewers could examine it in all its grisly glory. This brings out the fact that given the proper circumstances, the senses can be fooled without anything being actually shown. While I felt cheated by being scared of the presentation quality rather than the ghosts themselves, that feeling of dread was exhilarating for a horror movie fan like me. When the actress turned psychic made the prediction about the 3 spirits present at the inn, she was actually talking about Claire, the old man and Madeline O’ Malley. The sad thing about this whole story was the fact that the incident had to happen a week before the inn would be closed down after many years of no paranormal activity. If Claire and Luke only minded their own business, the story would not have played out like it did even if the old man had committed suicide.
Claire and Luke are like two types of horror movie fans. Luke is the one who claims to be knowledgeable in the field yet did not have the courage to satisfy his curiosity when something supernatural is actually happening while Claire is the inquisitive one who wants to know the truth even if it kills her. Why did I say this about Claire? She really had no reason to go back down to the basement after seeing the corpse of the old man and the ghost of Madeline O’ Malley. The psychic even warned her not to go there or something bad might happen. So why did she go anyway? That is the million dollar question. Perhaps she thought nothing exciting would ever happen to her mundane life again or her curiosity far outweighed her fear at that point in time. No matter what the reason was, I think it is safe to say that if we placed ourselves in her position and disregarded what we had seen as viewers of the movie, we would have had taken different actions depending on what our personality was.