No Vacancy (2012)★★★☆☆


This is a silly movie. I remember being excited for it when the trailer came out, back when it was still called The Helpers. Maybe that title seemed too bleak for the movie? No Vacancy is such a boring title, and way too close to Vacancy to be original (and actually, I kind of liked Vacancy, I may need to watch that one next now that I think about it).

Anyway, I spent most of the day at the (first ever!) Silicon Valley Comic Con, so I didn’t want to watch anything that would make me think too much. I rented this on Amazon tonight since I figured it would be some good old-fashioned violence and murder, and I was right. And speaking of not thinking, not only did I not have to think while watching this, but it’s clear none of the characters were thinking throughout, well, most of the movie.

See, I’m a firm believer that you should always, always look a gift horse in the mouth. Especially when it might murder you when you wake up in the morning. A free room in the motel? Anything you want from the bar kitchen? If you don’t find that stuff suspicious coming from a group of folks you’ve never met in a town you’ve never been in the middle of nowheresville, USA, then I’ve got a bridge to sell you…

(Some spoilers ahead) The cast is mostly a bunch of unknowns. They’re all okay – nondescript slasher victims (or murderers) for the most part. There’s not enough story here for me to find them believable or otherwise. It takes about 30 minutes before the action begins, and though it starts off with a bang (no, not literally), what follows gets tired pretty quickly. Since I didn’t really feel anything for any of the characters, I didn’t really feel anything watching them get tortured, and there wasn’t anything to get me otherwise invested in the film.

Also, why does it even bother with found footage? There are maybe 15 minutes worth of “found footage” throughout the film, and it seems the only reason they’re there is to set up the first guy’s death. It’s like they were trying to pander to as many types of horror fans as possible? It doesn’t really succeed though, and ends up just kind of a mess of things thrown together.

That said, it’s exactly what I expected it to be, and here’s the rating to prove it.