By Edward Davis | The Playlist November 1, 2011 at 5:11AM
The residing prince of indie-horror Ti West's latest effort, "The Innkeepers," has been a bit slow to hit theaters. The picture, which stars Sara Paxton ("Shark Night 3D"), Pat Healy, Kelly McGillis (yes, that Kelly McGillis), and features a brief cameo by Lena Dunham, premiered at SXSW earlier this year and was supposed to see a release this fall.
Instead, Magnet, the company distributing the film in North America, is releasing it on VOD December 30, after which a theatrical release won't hit until February 3, 2012. However, just in time for Halloween, a new poster and trailer for the picture arrived late last week. Having seen "The Innkeepers," which some have not inaccurately described as "mumblecore horror," the trailer focuses on the scares in the film and shies away from the talky, life-is-mundane comedy mien which is a big part of the film (read our review from SXSW here).
Here's the official synopsis:
After over one hundred years of service, The Yankee Pedlar Inn is shutting its doors for good. The last remaining employees - Claire (Sara Paxton) and Luke (Pat Healy) - are determined to uncover proof of what many believe to be one of New England's most haunted hotels. As the Inn’s final days draw near, odd guests check in as the pair of minimum wage “ghost hunters” begin to experience strange and alarming events that may ultimately cause them to be mere footnotes in the hotel’s long unexplained history.
This writer didn't enjoy the picture as much as West's previous film, the indie horror "The House Of The Devil," which really helped raise the director's profile as one to watch, but has got to admit, this trailer is aces -- really playing up similarities to "The Shining" (and there are a few). The filmmaker's style – a more '70s-based kind of thinking-man's horror -- hasn't even truly blossomed yet, and somewhere down the road there's hopefully going to be some kind of minor game changer from him. That said, like his predecessor indie horror magnate Larry Fessenden (a producer on this film), West seems pretty content to occupy his little corner of the universe and do his own thing.
Maybe his next picture, the presumably bigger-budgeted and more ambitious sci-fi-horror set around the pharmaceutical world, "The Side Effects" will up the creative ante a bit. Poster and trailer below.