There are compelling reasons why, when traveling, one should skip the chain lodgings and stay at one of America's classic hotels. There's the friendly and courteous staff, the opportunity to experience a true piece of Americana, and the chance that you'll encounter a spectral manifestation that wants to rip your immortal soul from your still-screaming body. (Disadvantage: no wi-fi.) In The Innkeepers, a pair of slackers (Sarah Paxton and Pat Healy) are put in charge of an aging hotel in its last days and -- when not attending to the needs of such guests as Kelly McGillis as a sympathetic psychic and George Riddle as Quiet Creepy Guy -- decide to play Ghost Hunters by investigating the myriad tales of hauntings that the institution has acquired. To quote a classic, American aphorism: "Big mistake."
With films such as The Roost and The House of the Devil, director Ti West has managed to deliver old-school, atmospheric chills on a limited budget, and he's pulled the same feat off with The Innkeepers, creating a ghost tale that's both witty and scary, with a valuable lesson for us all (i.e. continental breakfast shouldn't be the only consideration when choosing a hotel). Click on the player to hear my interview with him.