by Brody Rossiter
Amy (Kate Beckinsale) and David (Luke Wilson) find themselves stranded in the middle of nowhere after a spot of car trouble. 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 unsightly brown decor. 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, the classics are 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 establishment 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.