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INNKEEPERS, THE

(The Innkeepers world premiered at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival and was picked up for distribution by Magnolia Pictures/Magnet Releasing. It was released theatrically on Friday, February 3, 2012, and is currently also available on VOD through AT&T, Brighthouse, Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Insight, RCN, Time Warner, Verizon, VUDU, Amazon Instant, Xbox, and at iTunes. Visit the film’s official website to learn more.)

It’s virtually impossible not to compare Ti West’s follow-up to The House of The Devil—particularly if you found that film to be as masterfully executed as I did—but in this case, I was able to check my expectations at the door and appreciate West’s latest as the fun ride that it is. At 100 minutes, West certainly pushes the boundaries of how many slowwww walkssss downnnnn hallwayssss weeee neeedddd tooooo geetttt theeeee pointtttt acrosssss, and many less patient viewers will undoubtedly check out. But what I find to be so exhilarating about an effort like this is how West updates the old-school haunted house movie for the modern generation—both Pat Healy and Sara Paxton are great at conveying the soul-sucking, time-numbing burden of service jobs like these. He also infuses the film with a genuine sense of humor. West’s recent films are in many ways intellectual filmmaking exercises, but his command of the craft and childlike enthusiasm for the visceral thrills inherent in his genre of choice help them to succeed as popcorn entertainment.

— Michael Tully

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Michael Tully was born and raised in Maryland and now lives on Tennis Court in Brooklyn. His most recent narrative feature, Septien, world-premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and was picked up for distribution by Sundance Selects. In addition to directing Cocaine Angel (2006) and Silver Jew (2007), he is also a proud alumni of Filmmaker Magazine's annual "25 New Faces of Independent Film" club (2006). Visit his indieWIRE blog Boredom at its Boredest—http://blogs.indiewire.com/tully—for more sporadic personal updates.

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