A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Innkeepers -- an indie horror movie about a haunted hotel from the director of The House of the Devil -- has a few very scary moments and some scenes with strong blood and gore, though neither is constant. There's no sex or nudity, but there is sexual suggestion, plus shots of characters in very little clothing. Strong but infrequent language includes a few uses of "f--k" and "s--t"; characters also drink, and a supporting character is shown to be an alcoholic.
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What's the story?
The Yankee Pedlar Inn is closing its doors for good. During the inn's final weekend, employees Luke (Pat Healy) and Claire (Sara Paxton) agree to sleep at the hotel and take turns working. At the same time, they hope to hunt for the ghost of Madeline O'Malley and capture her on tape. Meanwhile, there are the guests to attend to, including a crabby mom and her young son, a mysterious old man, and a burned-out actress-turned-medium named Leanne (Kelly McGillis). The latter warns Claire not to go into the basement, but that's just where the ghost seems to be hiding out. ...
Is it any good?
Horror fans who like a little something extra will appreciate this. With his last movie, The House of the Devil, director Ti West earned many fans but turned off many more. His unique rhythms are very simply not for everyone. Like Quentin Tarantino and Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive), West clearly draws on classic movies of the 1980s and earlier for his inspiration. Rather than delivering blood and gore and jump-shocks on cue, he's more like a magician, deflecting expectations and switching around the payoff.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about The Innkeepers' violence. What's scarier -- the stuff you can see or the stuff you can't? Does the movie have scary moments without violence?
Does it seem like nothing is happening in certain scenes? Were you interested by these scenes or bored? Does something need to happen during every moment to make a movie interesting?