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Movies From the Black Lagoon: Vacancy- 2007,Rated R
Movies From the Black Lagoon
Vacancy- 2007,Rated R
The best suspense yarns have to be plausible to connect with audiences and this one easily fits into that category. Most of us have had at least one road trip where we were forced to stay over at a hotel. In most cases it turns out to be a benign experience but the couple in this film aren't so fortunate and wind up in a nameless dump where they are made to feel about as welcome as an Idaho Senator in an airport restroom.
The story begins with Amy and David Fox driving home after a visit with Amy's parents. David has taken the car off the interstate, to avoid a delay caused by a wreck, and regrets that decision when Amy awakens and gives him three kinds of hell for getting them lost. Turns out they are headed for divorce court so their nerves are frazzled anyway. A stop at a remote gas station offers some hope when they get directions, but their vehicle conks out a mile later and they are forced to hoof it back to the station, which is now closed. They spot a rundown hotel and decide to spend the night there until their vehicle can be serviced.
The hotel is no bargain and comes complete with filthy rooms, a swarm of freeloading cockroaches, and a manager named Mason who rocks a prison haircut and all the charm of a graduate from the Norman Bates School of Hotel Management. It's no surprise that the TV doesn't get any reception, which prompts David to pop in one of the grimy videotapes splayed across the top of the television. What comes on when he presses the play button looks like a serial killer's home movies but there is something odd going on here and David tumbles to it quickly when he observes that the grainy images of murder and mayhem were captured for posterity in the same room that they have rented. It's a frightening realization, which is bolstered by the presence of video cameras in several spots in the room affording the same angles as the murder tapes they just saw-and those cameras are now running.
The third act is where most thrillers blow it but this one actually gets better as the couple, mainly David, react by becoming proactive. Rather than race around screaming and barricading the doors they watch the tapes with a new intensity bred from their situation. Nobody turns out to be a retired Navy Seal here but the film should give you enough tips on how to handle this kind of situation and reads as a "How to" manual for tourists who find themselves up against psychotic support staff at a remote hotel.
This one works because it delivers on the kind of horror movie that audiences have been wanting for ages. This is the one that you don't have to talk back to because the characters aren't simpletons who walk around in the dark screaming out each other's names while the killers pick them off with ease. In fact these folks are ahead of the curve and think up some effective strategies that should leave most audience members scratching their heads, for a change, and saying, "Why didn't I think of that?"
Best Line: "Well, the least they could do is give us a little porn."
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