The FILM IN WORDS Netflix Film of the Week: helping you navigate the filmic minefield of the nation’s favourite video streaming service.
Words: Brody Rossiter
With Halloween fast approaching (unless you’re reading this in the future…), what better way to mark the arrival of the spookiest month of the year than with a few good ol’ snuff videos. Unfortunately for all you gory shock flick fans out there, “snuff” isn’t a sub-category included in Amazon’s DVD & Blu-ray section. You’ve got to work hard for those unassuming black, plastic rectangles of depravity. So what better way to ensure a constant stream of that sick and perverse content than to open a motel, install a few hi-def cameras, and brutally pick off your guests one by one?
This is the sinister scenario facing disillusioned husband and wife, David (Luke Wilson) and Amy (Kate Beckinsale), in this week’s Netflix Film of the Week, Vacancy. Thanks to a some suspicious tinkering under the hood of their Beamer by a local mechanic, the soon-to-split couple find themselves stranded in a backwater motel (complete with crackling neon sign and a fifty shades of brown decor; chestnut, mahogany, burnt sienna etc. etc.) With no TV signal and a room that hasn’t seen a bottle of Pledge for at least a decade, the couple elect to distract themselves with some home video classics. Unfortunately, Die Hard is still sitting on shelf at the local Blockbuster and these flicks are of a more twisted nature. The couple soon release that the shocking scenes depicted on the tapes has been filmed inside their room, immediately setting in motion their very own terrifying fight for survival.
Director, Nimród Antal, opened the doors to a decidedly creepy roadhouse that manages to balance both high-octane action within an unsettling sense of physical terror – harkening back to late-seventies, early eighties slasher flicks. Peril forever hangs in the stale motel air, and an engaging cast of characters ensure the action is meaningful and immersive from the first swipe of a knife to Vacancy‘s satisfyingly bloodthirsty conclusion. Next time you break down in rural America, sleep in the car.