Tuesday 13 November 2007


I like Luke Wilson. He's fun to watch. Charlie's Angels? Fun. Legally Blonde? Fun. That X-Files episode with the vampire town and he said/she said? Fun. Vacancy? Fun.

I mean crap.

Luke Wilson and his wife are traveling home after attending her parents' wedding anniversary and suffer car trouble along the way. After trying and failing to get help, the two are forced to stay in a motel for the night. Not much time passes before the couple are set upon by assailants who plan to terrorize and kill them before the night is through.

Doesn't sound like the worst movie ever. And it's not. That prestigious title goes to Event Horizon. Or possibly Supernova. No, House of the Dead.

...anyway, Vacancy, though not the worst movie, is pretty low down the list for one simple reason: Luke Wilson and his wife hate each other. This we learn right at the beginning of the film. We know it a moment after the movie starts and no one's even said anything. Why, then, should I care what happens to these two assholes over the next 85 minutes?

Oh wait, you mean their ordeal will bring them closer together, rekindle their love, and save their marriage? Well then I guess it's a good thing Luke Wilson turns off the highway, looking for a short cut on the lonely backroads only to have the car break down not far from the only open gas station with the friendly yet inept attendant next door to the creepy motel with the weird-ass night manager. Lucky for him he finds and watches those snuff tapes in the motel room so he and his wife know what's in store for them and can execute a series of increasingly stupid escape attempts while rediscovering their love for each other.

I don't mind a movie where it's all laid out for you within the first twenty minutes and you spend the rest of the time watching the action and story play out. Wrong Turn, for instance, is a great back-to-basics no bullshit horror movie. Its simple plot of people escaping inbred cannibals is by no means original, but it was refreshing and inspiring to watch friends make smart decisions about how best to save their lives. But watching Luke Wilson and wife argue about nothing and then get chased around a motel gets tired really fast.

And after 85 minutes of that nonsense I was ready for bed.

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