The Inn-keepers is probably one of my favorite films that we have watched in class. I think I’ve squealed one too many times during the entirety of the film. It’s exactly what I would expect from a haunted house film. The execution of each scary moment was also quite convincing and effective. There was a long suspenseful moment before each and every scare and that made each one increasingly terrifying as the plot started to build up and the ghosts started being more active and showing themselves to the main character. It was a perfectly clear plot arc with a rising action, climax and falling action.
It’s also very interesting how the scenes are shot. The camera seems to follow and swivel around especially when the characters are moving. The camera looks for the ghosts as the main character looks for them while going around the house. We are given the character’s perspective and we see the ghost as they see it. The scenes always build up the scare to the final point where we are finally shown the monster in all its horrifying glory the same time that the character sees it.
This movie reminds us of what was discussed in the Linda Williams article, “When the Woman Looks.” More often than not, female characters are the innocent bystanders, the object of the gaze of the film’s monster. They are constantly hiding their eyes from the monster or even oblivious of their existence, not in direct contact with their gaze. But in this film, the female character, Claire, is not afraid to see the monster. She runs around the hotel with the recording device, actively seeking out the ghost and trying to provoke it. She’s even more courageous than her coworker, who was the one interested in finding ghosts in the hotel in the first place. When they encountered the ghost in the basement, he ran away before Claire did and he didn’t even see anything.
As in the Williams article, the woman who looks, the woman can stare back at the monster, is always punished for her actions. This is exactly what happened to Claire. She set out looking for something that she shouldn’t be looking for in the first place. When you go looking for trouble, eventually you’re going to find it. For me, it seems like a rule applicable to all horror movies, including the best horror of all, real life. But I guess the point is a woman who stares down that trouble will eventually provoke whatever it is that she is looking at. There were enough warning signals all around but Claire still chose to ignore them all. Claire would still try to make contact with the spirits despite how others warn her. Even in the end, when she could have gotten away with the other people, she still went out looking for other people. She was warned not to go into the basement, but she still went to the basement, thinking that the psychic woman would be there. It does not make sense to look for someone who is warned you about the basement, in the basement. This is also after she saw that person climb up the stairs to the upper floors. It’s either Claire was really stupid to even consider the basement or she really wanted something else to happen to her. You could say that she was asking for it, asking for trouble to happen. Like Williams said, the woman who seeks the monster and stares it in the face will eventually be punished for her actions.