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Vacancy-By John Lasavath

February 22, 2011

I’ve known John Lasavath for about a decade now. We worked at a AMC theater together and we’ve watched many many many bad movies. John once convinced me to buy a movie by saying “Kurt Russell is in it.” His words of wisdom ring true whether watching Transmorphers or Bloodrayne.  He and I even started Bad Movie Poker. Everyone buys ten dollars worth of bad movies (Lundgren three packs, Mega Sharks). Winner takes all.

I’ve started a new thing on my blog. I’ve asked my friends to write reviews about movies we’ve watched. The experiences have always been fun. John is writing about the good-looking rich people in trouble film called Vacancy. There will be more reviews to come. If anybody wants to chime in I would love to read what you have to say.

Here it is: SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!

To this day, I am still amazed at how a movie can suddenly go from decent and exciting and suddenly nosedive into bad and campy. Mark and I were bored one night so we decided to go downtown and watch a movie. We saw that Vacancy was showing and that Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale were starring in it. We are both fans of Luke Wilson’s movies and Kate Beckinsale in Underworld (you know what I mean) , so we figured it would be a safe bet.

The basic premise of Vacancy has Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale playing a couple who have to stop at a motel after their car breaks down. Coincidentally enough, it’s also dead area for cell phones, making it extremely convenient for aspiring serial killers. The movie actually starts off pretty well, establishing the couple’s situation while gradually raising the tension and danger at a pretty brisk pace.I couldn’t help but be entertained, the movie had decent writing, suspenseful action, and Kate Beckinsale wearing needlessly tight clothing. If the movie had ended at the halfway point, I would’ve been satisfied.

Unfortunately, the director had other ideas. About 3/4 of the way into the movie, a plot twist occurs that is so unlikely, so corny, and so frustrating it effectively wipes out all the good feelings from the first part of the movie. In the scene, while Kate Beckinsale is hiding, Luke Wilson decides to venture out to see if it safe. Unfortunately he discovers that it isn’t, considering he gets stabbed. The attackers leave his body there and is left to lie there the entire night. In a following scene, Kate Beckinsale goes to check in on Luke. It should be noted here that this scene takes place the FOLLOWING MORNING after Luke gets stabbed. As Kate approaches Luke, I suddenly started to get an uneasy feeling. Mark felt it too, cause we looked at each other and knew what the other was thinking. As Kate kept getting closer to Luke the sense of foreboding had swelled so much, we both blurted out,”Don’t do it…don’t do it.” Finally when Kate reached Luke, our worst fears were realized: Luke Wilson miraculously springs back to life.

 I know, dead characters coming back from the dead isn’t anything new. Normally, I wouldn’t have a problem with this, but when you’re attacked, stabbed, gutted and lying motionless bleeding out for an ENTIRE NIGHT, you would think that would be enough to kick the bucket. Well, not if Luke Wilson has anything to say about it. Come to think of it he has never died in a movie. He tries to kill himself in Royal Tennenbaums (lives) and loses two arms (just a flesh wound) in Anchorman.  Not only does he come back to life, he makes it seem as if he were waking up to a really bad hangover from last night’s bender. I checked out immediately after that. It was depressing. We were both enjoying the movie until that one scene kicked us both in the nuts. For the rest of the movie we were uttering “Dont’ do it, Don’t do it” as if somehow that would convince Luke Wilson that maybe coming back to life was a bad idea and he would instead drop dead. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. So if you’re ever considering watching Vacancy….Don’t Do It.

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