The interesting thing about the Inn Keepers was that it was scary without being really scary. It played on the idea of ghosts, but I was never sure if the ghosts where real to begin with. Additionally, the plot only rose towards the end of the film because it seemed so light-hearted with such a sweet-yet-odd character Claire and the monotonous yet quirky Luke. This To me, the film revolved around the interaction of two important themes: (1)the power of thoughts and curiosity and (2) the proactive role of women and the passive role of men.
With the topic that was seen on the surface — the power of thoughts and curiosity, this was portrayed most in the relationship of Claire and the psychic Leanne. Claire wanted so badly to connect with the ghost of Madeleine O’ Malley she did everything to contact her; from Luke’s paranormal equipment to Leanne’s psychic readings. Be careful what you wish for, they say, and this definitely applied to Claire as se did not understand how much her thoughts brought the ghost to life. What did she even expect to find out from the ghost? Knowing that she killed herself was already enough, yet she needed something more, perhaps something that could appease the questions to her own life. It brings out the idea that when we search for something external to ourselves, we most of the time are searching for something more figurative and internal. The insincerity of her thoughts and her unanswered questions overpowered her in the end, and what killed her wasn’t the ghost but these very things (bringing her to an asthma attack).
A more interesting angle to the story is the perception of females within the movie. What gave the movie depth was the personality of every woman in it. Leanne found what gave her meaning (psychic abilities); Madeleine was the ghost to be feared; and Claire was the lead character, searching for meaning. Madeleine O’Malley may have killed herself, but she continued to interact with the real world, keeping her memory alive. This was a powerful message in the way that feminists see suicide in literature: not to be defeated by the society in the time they live in, women in literature commit suicide as a show of strength and power (i.e. Lady Macbeth, Dido from the Aeneid). The men in the film were the most cowardly, really. Luke ran off at the first confirmation of a real ghost, and Madeleine’s fiance ran away from their marriage and took many years before he faced his transgression.
Keeping in mind the history of females in Inn Keepers, the movie was more than what it is first perceived to be.