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Review (6/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)

In "Vacancy", Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale star as a soon-to-be-divorced couple who are driving along a highway when they are forced to take an alternate route that takes them to an isolated road and an isolated motel where they decide to spend a sexless night. Unfortunately the motel is run but a bunch of inbreds who seem to get pleasure out of killing their guests. David (Wilson) and Amy (Beckinsale) find themselves caught in a cat and mouse game with the motel manager and two masked men that basically involves them running out of the motel room and back into the same room - over and over again. By the end of the movie, it's not quite clear who are the bigger dodos - the cats or the mice. But the prospect of getting murdered seems to do wonders for David and Amy's relationship. It's almost like "Vacancy" is a new type of movie genre - the romantic horror.

Vacancy actually starts out as a fairly decent movie with some genuinely jumpy moments, some great tension and the potential of a very good slasher flick. Unfortunately, a good slasher flick usually requires at least one of the following - intelligent victims, intelligent killers, intelligent police and at the very least a plan to escape. "Vacancy" has none of the above. It just seems that the victims have every opportunity to make a getaway but they seem to keep running right back to the killers who, despite given chance after chance, cannot kill them. To be fair, I actually found the first hour of the movie to be okay. It was the last 1/2 hour that just kind of left me scratching my head and wondering, did someone really write and direct that? For example, if a policeman shows up to a potential crime scene and his headquarters doesn't hear back from him right away, wouldn't more policemen (or policewomen) eventually show up? Not in Pinewood. I guess if he was the only policeman in the town it makes sense. Who knows.

Anyways, I can't say "Vacancy" is a complete disaster because it's not. For the most part, it was sort of entertaining. I guess I just had a problem with the dopey decisions that pretty much everyone in the movie makes, especially towards the end. It has a rather abrupt ending which was kind of wierd too. Nevertheless, "Vacancy" isn't a movie that's going to set the industry on fire but I guess if you're bored and looking to kill a couple of hours of your life, watching "Vacancy" isn't the worst thing you can do. Besides, if you're having relationship problems like David and Amy, maybe "Vacancy" is just the sort of therapy you and your significant other may need.


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