Thursday, March 26, 2009

Vacancy 2: The First Cut (2008)

I had the pleasure of watching the first Vacancy movie in the theater, with my skittish wife clinging to me! Though Vacancy 2 didn't have lead actors like Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson, it was an enjoyable, and interesting, prequel. Like the first one, it was able to maintain a good level of suspense despite the audience already knowing everything about the operation. More than a few times, I was certain the movie was going in direction A and it went in direction B; I like it when that happens.

The best thing the movie had going for it was allowing the first couple--the just married couple--to go unscathed. This immediately raised questions for me as I expected the movie to jump right into the tormenting and killing. The two creepy motel guys even look at each other and say, "let's get to work," after the husband eagerly leaves the front desk. Once the couple peels out of the parking lot, we find that they are just making simple voyeur films at this point.

Next, we get this strange character who, unbeknownst to the motel guys, is a murderer and sets the whole operation we witness in Vacancy into motion. After the new snuff film operation is underway, the movie does a good job making you pull for the original two motel guys, but not for long. My attention began to wander during some of the narrow escape scenes with the three kids; it was rather mundane, but served its purpose.

Vacancy 2 is among the better prequels out there. It's not pulse-pounding suspense, and the gore level is moderate, but it definitely keeps you on edge in the way a realistic thriller does.

Review Soundtrack:
Unearth - "Bled Dry"
Ben Harper - "Burn One Down"
Opeth - "The Drapery Falls"

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  1. This was one of the few films I have ever turned off without finishing. I wasnt a fan of the original and felt both films were just too predictable and didnt offer anything in the feature that wasnt present in the trailer. Glad to see a differing opinion though!

  2. dragonmanes - While I enjoyed the movie, I do agree with this statement: "...didnt offer anything in the feature that wasnt present in the trailer." I hate how mainstream productions do this. As I've said before, I've stopped watching trailers, and I rarely read synopses!

  3. I felt the same way about The Strangers, when I got out of the theater I kicked myself because I got the exact same thing for $12 and a wasted 1.5hr that I got for free watching the trailer online. Granted I did like the film, but still.. Reminds me of The Onion news story about the popular Iron Man trailer being adapted into a feature length film lol..