I just got around to watching 2007′s suspense thriller “Vacancy” starring Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale.
“Once You’re In, There’s No Way Out”
I guess even the makers of the movie didn’t watch it.
With this review we’re going to have a little fun with several multiple choice questions scattered throughout.
The movie starts off with married but soon to be divorced couple Luke and Kate driving at night down a long, deserted road. He’s driving, she’s sleeping. Suddenly there’s a raccoon in the road, WAY UP AHEAD, and when it shows Luke reacting to it, he has more than enough time to slow the car to a stop, or better yet, drive around the raccoon. Instead he slams on the breaks, loses control of the car and spins out. Kate wakes up and gives him shit, because they’re about to be divorced and they hate each other. Honestly, their back and forth with their attitudes and cheap shots saves the opening of the movie.
We discover that he got off of the highway because of a traffic backup, which I’m thinking was a lie because it’s late at night and when the topic comes up again, multiple times throughout the movie, he never goes back to that excuse. In any case, the spin out causes something wrong in the engine. Because uh… that happens.
As they’re driving down the road again, there’s a random noise coming from the engine and Luke’s worried. They see a small town gas station up ahead so they pull into it and notice it’s closed. Because it’s the middle of the night in a small town, and well, shit happens.
Suddenly there’s a guy there who works at the garage/gas station. They’re closed, yet he’s there.
You’re out in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night with the woman you hate. Your car acts up and you pull into a shoddy gas station that’s closed only to discover one of the employees is there. He didn’t leave the building to come to your car, he just pops up at the driver side window. Do you:
A. Stay and see how fast he can kill you?
B. Leave and take your chances on the road with renegade raccoons?
Answer: Since everything in this movie is completely predictable, you naturally choose A.
They explain their situation and he says he’ll take a look at the engine, so Luke pops the hood and the guy takes a look. Luke gets out to stand next to him for a moment. This leaves Kate just enough time to lower the sun visor so that a picture secretly stashed up there falls down. The picture is of her and her son. She rubs it lovingly with her thumb and tears up. It’s the middle of the night so there was no need for her to lower the visor other than to bring the picture of her son, who is obviously not with them anymore, into the film. And the only reason for that is to give a little more (completely unneeded) depth to this ultra-predictable movie. So this was completely pointless. A couple more times in the movie they bring up the son and apparently he’s dead, which we already guessed. Yet there’s no real reason for it at all, so again, it’s pointless. It’s obvious they needed some filler for the movie so they put a dozen widely used ideas into a hat and this was the one they drew.
Luke gets back in the car just after she puts the picture away and the eerie stays-at-work-long-past-closing-just-in-case-some-strangers-need-someone-to-look-at-their-engine-for-them dude continues to look at their engine for a moment. After tinkering around for a few minutes he tells Luke to try it, and HUZZAH! The car starts.
Ironically, there was no problem with the car actually running, there just happened to be a slight ding sound that randomly happened. So the guy fixed nothing, yet he shuts the hood and says that they have a ding in a fan blade and they should be able to drive with no problem.
Would you let some random person in the middle of nowhere “work” on your engine without your supervision to just cut whatever wires he wants?
Answer: Since everything in this movie is completely predictable, you naturally choose A.
They drive away and a couple miles down the road the engine stalls and they’re fucked. I swear I never saw that coming. Luke gets out of the car to check the engine himself, because obviously he’s a mechanic when he has random people check shit out for him. In the process he pulls out his only flashlight.
You’re living in the year 2007 and you have a newer BMW. What type of flashlight would you have in your car in case of an emergency?
A. Really old flashlight that hardly works.
B. Brand new, never been used spot light that could land a plane.
Answer: A, Obviously you have a flashlight from 1956 in your possession and you have to smack it all the time just to keep it working.
They walk back to the motel that happens to be right next door to the gas station they had just been at. Through persuasive argument, Creepy McCreepenstein who manages the motel tells them they can stay there for the night until someone can help them with their car.
Now let’s stop here and take a look at some of the things that would keep any person from staying at the motel.
-McCreepenstein insists they have the honeymoon suite for only $5 more.
-They say a regular room will do just fine.
-McCreepenstein says he’ll give it to them for no extra charge.
-McCreepenstein doesn’t accept credit cards.
-There’s no phone in the motel office.
-There’s a pay phone just outside that, in 2007, takes dimes.
-Oh yeah, they need a phone because SUR-FUCKING-PRISE, their cell phone doesn’t have reception.
Luke and Kate decide to stay. McCreepenstein needs his photo ID. They get the key and go to their room. Once in the room, Kate goes to the bathroom and discovers water doesn’t come out of the faucet, mud does. She then looks over the bed and mentions how she’s going to sleep with her clothes on. Thank god, cause we don’t want to see any nudity in a suspense thriller. That would turn it into a horror movie, and well, that shit just isn’t going to happen.
Sorry, you don’t even get to see this much of her. Shame too, those are some pretty decent legs.
Luke responds to her “sleeping in her clothes” line with a comment about how he’s going to sleep in his shoes. Come on folks, that’s comedy. After another line or two he sits down at the foot of the bed and TAKES HIS SHOES OFF. Fuck man, if I can’t trust Luke Wilson in this movie, just who am I supposed to trust?
That’s about when the shenanigans start. The phone in their room rings… wait, there’s no phone at the front desk, but there’s a working phone in the room? Okay, anyway, they answer and nobody’s there. Then there’s banging on their door but nobody’s there. Then there’s banging on the door that separates their room, the honeymoon suite, room number 4, from the next room over, room number 3. Yeah, real swanky motel. Their honeymoon suite has a connector door to the next room over. So romantic. Yet, they continue to stay.
Luke goes back to Creepy McCreepenstein and complains that their neighbors in room 3 are being dicks and that he wants McCreepenstein to take care of it. McCreepenstein mentions how Luke and his wife are the only two renting rooms that night.
Upon hearing that news I got excited. Maybe, JUST MAYBE, there’s a twist here where Luke and Kate are staying at a super haunted motel and they have to deal, for the rest of the movie, with unruly spirits. That, I would not see coming and would probably enjoy much more than the so-far-predictable shit I’ve already seen. Do you think it’s:
A. Exactly what you thought it would be from the beginning.
B. An unruly spirit.
Answer: Of course it’s not a fucking ghost. This isn’t Scooby Doo. Then again it was never actually a ghost in that either, was it? Fuck.
Luke lays down on the bed, turns on the TV and discovers static. He decides to play a VHS tape in the VCR. Never mind the decor of the motel highlighting all of the best designs from 1958, they don’t even have cable. Or a DVD player. But, Luke and Kate decide to STAY. They would have had more fun in their broken down car cussing each other out. I would have enjoyed the movie more if they had gone that route.
While watching the tape he discovers each tape in the room plays a video of people in a room being beaten, harassed and murdered by two masked assailants. And the room on the videos is… SUR-FUCKING-PRISE, their room.
It turns out that Creepy McCreepenstein is video recording them, too. He’s running some smut operation where he records people in the room being beaten and killed by his two hired assailants. He gets off on that sort of thing.
I could keep going on with the review, but you’re going to realize that everything that happens in the movie is exactly what you think is going to happen. Should I:
A. Continue with the review.
B. End it here.
Answer: Surprise, I’m ending it here. I bet you didn’t see that coming.
So to sum up the rest of it, SPOILER ALERT, Luke gets stabbed and killed but Kate fights back and kills off the rest of the bad guys. I bet you didn’t see that coming. One of the two assailants is the guy who originally helped them from the garage. I bet you didn’t see that coming. Oh, and then she goes to cry over Luke’s dead body because during their fight to stay alive they decided that they’re still in love. I bet you didn’t see that coming. Oh, but Luke isn’t dead, he’s still alive. I bet you didn’t see that coming. And then she uses the phone in the back room of the main office (surprise, they DID have a working phone, this is the big twist of the movie) to call the cops. And then she goes to sit with Luke until help arrives. And that’s the end of the movie.
Another fine point to watch out for… during the night they had called the police and an officer is sent. The officer is killed before he can help. The rest of the night goes by. At the end of the movie which takes place in the morning, and Kate calls the police for help, the dispatcher says that they had already sent out an officer to that location. Yeah, and that fucker never went back to work and never called in a report. Yet nobody gave a shit that he had just disappeared after having gone to check on a call from a woman who said people were trying to kill her and her husband. Nobody gave a shit about that cop. Does that sound realistic? After he never returned they would have sent a few more cops out to check out what was going on, but that didn’t happen.
Despite having a pretty bad beginning and a pretty bad ending and everything in the movie was predictable, and there was no nudity (there’s some but it’s hard to see and could have basically been left out), it actually wasn’t too bad of a movie. I enjoyed it. I probably won’t watch it again, but it wasn’t too bad.
I give this movie 6 out of 10 stars, mostly because of that picture of Kate above with the nice legs. I know it has nothing to do with the movie, but if it weren’t for me writing a review of the movie I would have never seen that picture.