Creepy `Vacancy' is familiar but convincing

review b-

April 20, 2007|By Gene Seymour | Gene Seymour,Newsday

Vacancy is a mangy-looking mongrel with a lot of familiar markings and a little more on the ball than you'd expect at first glance. Can a horror movie really get away with having so many familiar motifs such as its Motel in the Middle of Nowhere complete with creepy night manager (Frank Whaley) and support staff of hideously masked cutthroats?

Not only does Vacancy get away with it, the movie executes its every borrowed, nerve-bruising plot twist with such gruesome efficiency that it makes you feel as grimy, wasted and worked-over as its prospective victims.

Vacancy (Sony Pictures) Starring Luke Wilson, Kate Beckinsale. Directed by Nimrod Antal. Rated R. Time 80 minutes.

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