Horror Film 9: Innkeepers of Doom

Slow and dragging in the beginning but picks up the pace of supernatural horror by the middle. The film, the Innkeepers, goes on such a track but manages to bring about horror in the same way the Asian Horror film “The Ring” dished out its own. The feeling of dread and fear stays for a while after the film. For me, it lasted a few days with me keeping the lights on before going to sleep because that midnight bed scene hit me so hard the scene flashes every time I’m about to lie down to bed.

The thing about supernatural horror is that the characters feel more and more helpless as they experience more manifestations. All they can do is run once the supernatural starts to stalk them. As a viewer, you root for them to escape,since fighting back is hardly an option, but rarely are there ghost movies where they are able to suppress or repel the ghost. The same goes with the Innkeepers, the ghost gets the best of us.

Following the concept of the female gaze, this film does a lot to justify it. We have our heroine bravely stalking the ghost of Madeline o’ Malley, a woman who hung herself after being stood up at her wedding. As in the cases presented by the article, she acts on her curiosity and tries to get a hold of the situation, try and prove things for herself. But in the end, her active pursuing soon turn grim as the ghost returns the favor and starts to wreak havoc on her remaining days in the Yankee Pedlar Inn. Her act of “gazing” at the horror triggers a punishment for assuming such a position in the course of the film. As the film puts it, the female gaze works well as a tool for horror as it is a futile attempt to suppress the helplessness of the female and lets the emotion, horror, pass through the screen as effectively as possible.

In totality, the film is a really good horror movie. It may be slow in progression of the plot but once it gets its engines running, the fright train might run you down. I really liked the movie and it is a horror movie that I would say was immensely effective in its delivery of horror. In my opinion, the movie was very effective, interesting and great all at the same time. So great that I would rather not watch it again, atleast for a very long time.


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