The Innkeepers. 2011. USA. Written and directed by Ti West. With Sara Paxton, Pat Healy, Kelly McGillis, Lena Dunham, Alison Bartlett. 35mm. Courtesy Magnolia Pictures. 101 min.
Paying homage to classic suspense films like Robert Wise’s The Haunting (1963) and William Castle’s House on Haunted Hill (1959), cult favorite Ti West shot this tidy, tense little ghost story in only 17 days at the same cozy Connecticut hotel where he and his cast and crew holed up during the shooting of The House of the Devil. After 100 years, the rundown Yankee Pedlar Inn is scheduled to shutter permanently. As they while away the hours at the front desk, a couple of meddling kids (Sara Paxton and Pat Healy) uncover the hotel’s checkered history of paranormal activity, encountering oddball psychic Kelly McGillis and oddball barista Lena Dunham along the way. “Innkeepers stretches Devil’s withholding further and creates a blank canvas of nonevents against which the slightest incident, like a piano key that pounds down by itself, takes on an undue significance and becomes something monumental” (Nick Pinkerton, The Village Voice).