Directed by: Nimród Antal
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Luke Wilson, Frank Whaley, Ethan Embry, Scott Anderson
Looks like Kate Beckinsale is seriously vying for the unofficial ‘Horror Queen of Hollywood’ title. What other explanation could there possibly be for her recent choice of roles. Remember the demure nurse in Pearl Harbor, the object of affection for both Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett. Yes, she was Kate Beckinsale. She also wooed the audience as Ava Gardner in Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator. In between she seemed to have developed an uncanny fascination for vampires. In Van Helsing she played Anna the vampire slayer and then graduated to be a vampire herself in Underworld and its sequel Underworld: Evolution.
Now, she is Amy Fox in another insipid horror drama, so vacant in content and imagination that it is rightly called Vacancy. Beckinsale is, however, not on the side of dark powers this time. She is a victim, a beautiful victim especially when the villains of the piece like to film their acts of carnage.
Here begins the horror tale, to the horror of the audience. The basic requirement for a classic horror film is innovation and imagination. Setting the film in a Psycho-type motel and adding a The Ring-type twist does not make a film worth all its horror.
There is a vacancy in a decrepit motel where a bickering couple David (Luke Wilson) and Amy Fox (Kate Beckinsale) takes shelter for the night as their car breaks down. A classic horror situation, add to that a creepy manager and a gothic setting. The stage is set and the couple continues to fight till they realise that the slasher movie they are watching on the TV was actually shot in the same room where the couple are staying.
Horror, horror! Are you scared yet? If not wait till our warring couple joins hands to fight the creeps together.
Where Kate Beckinsale is concerned you can expect some cool action sequence a la Selene of Underworld, and you are not disappointed. Actually, it is she who saves the day, not her well-intentioned husband.
Overall it’s an okay fare, a typical horror fare, nothing new to offer. But the creep continues.
Rating ** 1/2