The Innkeepers

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The music in the beginning of the film was already able to set the tone of The Innkeeper that enforced the horror element of the movie. From the beginning credits, the background music was communicating that whoever was about to watch this film is bound to get scared. It’s the sound effects and musical scoring of the film that can conduct the mood of the rest of story. Even as the girl walks down the hallway, the music makes it affirm the creepiness of the hotel.

“Whenever something creepy happens, no one is ever around.” Up until she returns to the hotel after getting a “cup of coffee,” the pace of the story begins to slow down as the film focuses on the dialogues happening between Luke and Claire. Lines like “things happen for a reason” pop up and we see that these two characters seem to have no important purpose in life so far. As Luke leaves Claire at the front desk and starts exploring Luke’s website, she then hears a strange noise but isn’t able to record it. It reminds the audience that indeed, no one is ever around when something creepy happens.

The story’s being divided into chapters spoon-feeds us into expecting what we’re going to learn based on each of the titles. In chapter 2, Claire hears the same sound she heard previously when she was alone, but this time she is able to get closer to the source of the noise. Although it was just a bird, where this bird was found was a mysterious door leading to some basement. From this point we assume that there’s a story behind those doors, but Claire doesn’t seem to figure it out herself. The different idle moments such as the EDPs in the different rooms seemed to be going nowhere which, although gets the viewers restless and bored– is exactly how the film’s next surprise will catch us off guard. When Claire hears the piano sounds through the EDP, the story finally begins to show signs of horror-that-is-now-developing especially when some phenomenon finally occurs! If nothing by chance happens, what was the relevance of those certain guests staying at the hotel on its last weekend? During the conversation between Leanne and Claire, they are able to get in contact with the spirits who warn them not to go into the basement, which of course is exactly where the audience wants them to go. Since all we’re doing as viewers is using our sense of sight, the proximity factor being dealt with by the characters in the film doesn’t affect us. So when the dead bride scares Claire, all we have to do is close our eyes and ears for everything to go away.

As we try to decipher the story of the haunted hotel, a final guest arrives who we think could probably be the fiancee of Madeline, insists he stays in the honeymoon suite 353. As it is the last night at the hotel, the two inebriated staff members decide to go and disobey the spirits’ warning. With 30 minutes left for the film, something serious and in relation to Madeline was finally going to happen. The slow creeping in of piano playing made the mood more cryptic, therefore doing what stereotypical horror films do, keeping the audience on the edges of their seats.

As they are finally in the basement and “in contact” with Madeline, Luke’s storming out of the hotel was a confusing move. Either he’s a wimp or he in fact did feel Madeline’s presence and didn’t want to admit it. After Leanne’s necklace breaks, the climax of the story finally happens and doesn’t stop until the end. With the louder music, all the running around and the dead people rising from the dead, the audience is hanging on the question, is someone going to die? Although it was a much slower-paced movie compared to Rec 2, they were both just stories about looking for answers and getting nowhere close to a happy ending.

(An unnecessary fact about the lead actress, Sara Paxton, is that she was also the lead mermaid in Aquamarine)

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Rec It Ralph 2

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From what was established in the story of REC, we know that a young girl possessed by demons was kept for experimentation in the penthouse of this building and she somehow had a virus that spread, which ended up killing everyone who was quarantined throughout the film. There was a blurry explanation as to how this girl herself was infected in the first place and if the cause of the entire situation was a religious or medical matter. 

As a horror fan who enjoys the heart-racing scenes in these movies, I enjoyed Rec 2 because of how it barely had lagging scenes wherein there was just pure dialogue and no action. With the backstory from Rec, the mystery was no longer who’s going to be killed next or is everyone going to die, but rather, what exactly happened years ago that can explain everything that has happened. There was more intensity felt in this film because the characters were set in the scariest parts of the building. In Rec, it seemed as if the ground floor was the safest place to stay in, but with all the zombies in their respective hiding places, not a single room in that building felt safe. When watching these horror films, the location of the characters also affects the audience’s predicting of what could happen. The fact that the priest and his team spent most of the time in the Penthouse was a giveaway that people are going to die. Even when they were in the rooms of the building, it was a guessing game on whether or not there was a zombie there hiding and if they were from the previous film. 

Aside from the character-location aspect of the film, the play on camera perspectives gave the film more excitement because when it shifted to the camera of the teenagers, the story began again from the beginning, hence going into the film from their point of view. From this movie and its characters, I noticed that these types of horror films make a viewer seem like such a horrible person because of how we always want certain characters to die. It makes me wonder if how a person reacts during a horror film describes how he/she is like in certain real-life situations? Just because I wanted the children to die in the film, does that reflect my hate for children in real life? 

This sequel, for me, made an attempt to give the story more depth as compared to the first one. We learn that apparently that the devil can really deceive us all into thinking that possession can lead to viral infections. It was what also made the film confusing because of how it completely turns around and becomes a matter of religious conflict. I find myself more uncomfortable when films have this relation to the devil because if it were just about a virus infecting a building, that was bound to have a happy ending wherein someone would find cure. The fact that the story dealt with a higher power that actual evidence could never explain, the ending was intriguing.