The filmmaker takes his unlucky couple of innkeepers seriously: He gives them living, breathing personalities, independent of their relationship with the house ghoul.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
Luke and Claire are guilty, above all, of being dumb and bored. Even their interest in the ghost that may dwell in the dark corners of the Pedlar seems tepid and lacking in conviction.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
Up until near the end ... you could mistake it for a low-key haunted-house comedy.
John DeFore - Washington Post
For too long, this movie asks us to be interested in something that rarely in the history of the service industry has been sustainably entertaining: how dull certain jobs can be.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
In a genre lately given to gluttonous effects, West is the rare minimalist.
Nick Pinkerton - Village Voice
A well-shot but generically dull disappointment.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
A decidedly old-fashioned haunted-house movie that sidesteps boredom with banter.
William Goss - MSN Movies
West freshens up the horror genre with a distinctive, careful camera style and an ability to write with empathy and humor.
Bruce Diones - New Yorker
Ti West knows how to build suspense with quiet and timing.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Each visit to the root cellar is an exercise in nerve-tightening; the first time we hear the overloud telephone at the front desk, it's both alarming and funny.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
The place offers West plenty of odd, creaky spaces to inspect as the innkeepers' project of capturing ghostly events on video (a joking reference to the Paranormal Activity franchise) begins to bear fruit.
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
There's a lot to be said for horror that doesn't hit you over the head with shock and gore and special effects. But if you're going to go that route, you need to have more than The Innkeepers delivers.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
"The Innkeepers" is a nifty little scary movie with slacker trappings, another winning deconstruction of a genre film by writer and director Ti West.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
I ask myself, how can any movie that calls itself a horror film also be boring at the same time? You will find the answer in The Innkeepers.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
West and lenser Eliot Rockett deserve considerable credit for being able to generate suspense and occasionally spring scares without relying on familiar haunted-house atmospherics.
Joe Leydon - Variety
"The Innkeepers" is no masterpiece, but you may well leave with your nerves expertly jangled.
Sara Stewart - New York Post
To his credit, West eschews the gore and mayhem of most modern horror movies in favour of slow-building atmospheric menace.
Bruce Demara - Toronto Star
[An] offbeat ghost story.
Eric Kohn - indieWIRE
It's just too bad, innit, that The Innkeepers isn't much of a keeper.
James Adams - Globe and Mail
Sometimes with horror movies, it's all about tone.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
The result is a largely entertaining picture with too few (and late-arriving) scares to satisfy the multiplex crowd, but one that will please many die-hard genre aficionados.
John DeFore - Hollywood Reporter
The trappings may look familiar, but "The Innkeepers" is a new twist on the good, old-fashioned ghost story: It's the bored-slacker horror movie.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
The Innkeepers makes such youthful passivity seem nearly as treacherous as opening the cellar door.
Mary F. Pols - TIME Magazine
A nice change-up. Not much gore, but some good scares.
Richard Roeper - Richard Roeper.com
There's a skillful appreciation here for the kind of subjective dislocation behind the best ghost stories, and in this era of bloody-disgusting, that kind of smart ambiguity is welcome indeed.
Robert Abele - Los Angeles Times
The indie king of the slow-burn horror flick is back, and this time Ti West is bringing along an unexpected dose of wit, warmth, and weirdly effective character-based comedy.
What finally sells The Innkeepers is the fact that the payoff really pays off.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
A suspenseful and well-crafted old-fashioned ghost story.
John Hanlon - Big Hollywood
Sometimes all it takes to make a decent little horror film is some good atmosphere and realistic characters.
Jeff Beck - We Got This Covered
Just enough depth of character and place that it's smarter than your average paranormal flick.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
The acting is pretty good, and the characters are interesting, but the screenplay lacks the imagination it takes to elevate this story above the ordinary, predictable level of a common ghost story. It doesn't help this was also done on the cheap.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
Entertaining creepy B horror pic.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
When it delivers in horror and scares, it really excels with some shocking special effects and plays on sound effects...
Felix Vasquez Jr. - Cinema Crazed
Jeff Beck - Examiner.com
'A perfectly creepy scarefest with standout performances across the board.'
William Bibbiani - CraveOnline
Diverting and certainly worthy of examination; given all these pluses, I'd like to have seen more of West's compelling backstory threaded into his narrative.
Richard Knight - Knight at the Movies
An enjoyable chiller that isn't afraid to show less.
David Michael Brown - Empire Magazine Australasia
The pleasures here are small, but sure to be resonant for horror film fans.
Jeremy Heilman - MovieMartyr.com
A gruelling trial of audience patience.
Ian Berriman - SFX Magazine
The film is scary enough to keep you alert in the cinema, but unlikely to give you a sleepless night.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
West continues to tread a delightful path between winking dread and the real kind, but his pacing's off in the build-up, partly because of the many, many opportunities Paxton has to flee out the front door.
Tim Robey - Daily Telegraph
It has some charm but is quite underwhelming.
Allan Hunter - Daily Express
The movie never entirely flatlines, and there are some funny touches, but it annoyingly fails to do anything with the kooky situation it elaborately establishes, and there are no real shocks or laughs.
Naturally, if you don't like the sight of blood on screen stay well clear, but, for the most part, this is an atmospheric, ghost-hunting piece with a greater emphasis on old fashioned chills.
Graham Young - Birmingham Post
Unmissable and one of the best films of the year.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
West knows how to shoot an empty room and make it unnerving and has fun with characters hearing sounds through recording devices that aren't evident to the naked ear.
Rob Daniel - Sky Movies
Hardcore horror heads may scorn its snail pace and shaggy-dog sweetness, but for discerning viewers, 'The Innkeepers' is a slow-burning charmer.
Tom Huddleston - Time Out
Among the current crop of ghost stories, this is an outstanding effort. Ti West is shaping up as an authentic Master Of Horror.
Kim Newman - Empire Magazine
Although not up to the high standard of writer-director Ti West's previous film The House of the Devil, The Innkeepers is another often chilling exercise in building mood and atmosphere.
Mark Pfeiffer - Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
While the ghost story is familiar, The Innkeepers ultimately stands out from other contemporary horror films because it's easy to like and identify with the characters
Tom Clift - Moviedex
You can see a thinly-veiled repackaging of The Shining if you look hard enough, but as many patrons will be watching through their fingers, the similarities won't matter that much over the course of this terrific ghost story.
Simon Foster - sbs.com.au
Sara Paxton is so photogenic and her acting is so nice that I wish there was more for her to do. Instead she just wonders about the near-empty hotel, reacting to cheap scares. Ho hum!
Paul Chambers - CNNRadio
West has delivered a genuinely involving and disconcerting chiller that's closer than anything else to a decent 50s B-movie.
Miles Fielder - The List
Like his work or not, Ti West's follow up to "The House of the Devil" is another fine piece of craftsmanship.
Brian Holcomb - CinemaBlend.com
The Innkeepers is an eerie, haunting and sometimes funny ghostly chiller that's bound to win over those with a taste for classic nail-biting horror.
R. L. Shaffer - IGN DVD
Interview with Director/Writer Ti West. I liked this movie!
Mark Ramsey - MovieJuice!
Writer-director Ti West goes where many -- especially Stephen King -- have gone before...
West not only bypasses the gore galore but also largely avoids those cheap gotcha scares that directors employ when they're unable to generate genuine suspense.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
With The Innkeepers, West has both perfectly followed up his previous film and improved on it.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Common Sense Media
We can't dissociate ourselves from the evil because, as in much of the best horror, what's scaring us isn't external; it's everything we fear seeing when we look in the mirror.
Ian Buckwalter - The Atlantic
Fans of the horror genre can expect to get all nostalgic about the 1970s feel to the action, which most certainly includes people going down the basement, all alone, in the dark, and that sort of thing.
Liz Braun - Toronto Sun
The Innkeepers feels more like The Puffy Chair and the 1963 film The Haunting had a non-annoying hipster baby.
Grae Drake - Movies.com
It retains an eerie elegance in the last few minutes: not as arbitrary as the traditional horror twist, but duly earned by the slow development that precedes it.
Rob Vaux - Mania.com
...oddly unremarkable: less surely controlled than House of the Devil, less interesting in terms of form and, perhaps worst of all, not scary in the least.
Josh Larsen - LarsenOnFilm
The film has a real voice, and it's apparent that West is getting more and more comfortable as a filmmaker.
Drew McWeeny - HitFix
This film has some of the usual scary cues and tense moments, but the setting, the old Yankee Pedlar inn, emerges as a more interesting character than any of the people.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
The meandering film starts slowly and with too many teases before delivering a few solid frights.
Todd Jorgenson - Cinemalogue.com
'The Innkeepers' offers room with a 'Boo!'
James Verniere - Boston Herald
"The Innkeepers" may have some of the retro charm of a boardwalk spookshow. But the ride is too long - and too few of the attractions seem to be up and running.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
Two slackers becalmed in dead-end jobs at a rambling, supposedly haunted Connecticut inn decide to play ghost hunter in this shaggy-dog story with a sharp little sting in its tail.
Maitland McDonagh - Film Journal International
West attempts to pad out the film's running time by offering up one lackluster sequence after another...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
What happens next is a weird exercise in slow-burn tension that only pays off by force of directorial will.
Dave White - Movies.com
It's so effective at capturing the natural rhythms of being bored at work that the supernatural stuff feels like an unnecessary intrusion.
Norman Wilner - NOW Toronto
So entertaining are the characters that you may leave the theater before realizing that the film's specters might emanate from somewhere much closer -- much, much closer -- than the haunted history of a Connecticut hotel.
Jeannette Catsoulis - NPR
[I]t's unclear whether West intended to make a comedy and wound up making a horror movie or that he set out to make a horror movie and wound up with a comedy.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
what begins as something of a lark succeeds in generating what feels like real stakes
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
A hugely effective thriller that confirms Ti West as one of the more interesting new voices that the genre has seen in a long time.
Peter Sobczynski - eFilmCritic.com
Ti West knows how to get under our skin and make us danse macabre.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
Smart, funny and creepy, The Innkeepers does a great deal for Ti West's reputation as an up-and-coming filmmaker while simultaneously making rustic hotels seem a lot less quaint and charming.
A satisfyingly old-fashioned haunted-house thriller, less about shocks and violence than atmosphere and dread.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
West understands the unsettling power of silence, making the banshee-like howl of visceral terror that caps the film all the more effective
Chris Cabin - Filmcritic.com
As a ghost story, The Innkeepers isn't chock full of scares, but the few that it has are strong ones.
John Gholson - Movies.com
A traditional ghost story set very much in the here and now, The Innkeepers proves that the Spanish and the Japanese don't have a monopoly on the sub-genre while confirming writer/director Ti West as one of the major talents in horror today.
Jamie Graham - Total Film
One of the most effective horror movies of the last several years, a true gem of the genre that reminds a scary movie junkie like myself why I fell in love with them in the first place.
Brian Tallerico - HollywoodChicago.com
Few horror movies deliver a triple threat of strong characters, chilly mood and clean storytelling. The Innkeepers is one of those few.
Matt Pais - RedEye
The Innkeepers suggests that West's greatest strengths may lie with the way he handles the meeting between normalcy and terror, and how characters cling to the former longer than is advisable...
Alison Willmore - AV Club
More so than in West's previous film, which worked on its own steam right up until the end, The Innkeepers feels like a devoted horror fan's attempt to reinvent a classic genre by sheer force of quality.
Michelle Orange - Movieline
A cellar sance is nerve-racking; less so are a few loud-noise gotchas that seem lifted from Hollywood's trick bag.
Joshua Rothkopf - Time Out
West only manages to wrangle a tepid horror film out of a fine opportunity to explore the territory of paranormal belief in a down-to-earth way.
Peg Aloi - Boston Phoenix
...makes me wonder how things would have fared with a better screenplay.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Winding up the tension to an almost stubborn degree, Ti West forestalls the inevitable disappointment of its release, a blow that's further softened by how immaculately the whole movie is shot.
Jesse Cataldo - Slant Magazine
A poky but blood-freezing throwback to the gothic horror films of the seventies, when ingenues moved tremulously down dark corridors without holding digital video cameras.
...about the only really scary thing about his "The InnKeepers" is the apparent lack of towels when you need them.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Retains some personality and a reasonable case of the creeps. West keeps the festivities rather subdued, but those exhausted by the current state of shock cinema might find themselves appreciating this spooky breather.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
Director Ti West is carving quite a niche for himself by exploring horror genres popularized by others by stripping them down to the varnish and actually deglamorizing them. It's effective.
Staci Layne Wilson - Horror.com
A diverting, low-key riff on the traditional "haunted hotel" set-up.
Ethan Alter - Television Without Pity
'The Innkeepers' makes up for its low budget and even lower body count with an excellent cast.
Lucius Gore - ESplatter
With slow, deliberate pacing, seemingly endless amounts of paranormal prattle and few spooky scenes, it's quite tedious.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
However admirable the director's formal intentions, the movie itself is kind of dull.
Kurt Loder - Reason Online
A beguiling entertainment as it deals out its grab-bag of soul-searching, good-willed humor, and particularly serious gasps.
A galloping mish mash of horror cliches that comes up with too little, too late.
Ron Wilkinson - Monsters and Critics
Though not original this ghost story is worth seeing for Sara Paxton's terrific performance
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
allows a genuine sense of dread, rooted in the ambiguous relationship between character and circumstance, to build in its own time.
Anton Bitel - Little White Lies
West's latest feature is well-directed and funny, but low on scares and quite camp, presumably unintentionally so.
Shaun Munro - What Culture
[The Innkeepers] brings to mind Disney-channel style spookfests like Hocus Pocus, but still follows through and gives us some gory, horrifying money shots in the final act.
Simon Miraudo - Quickflix
West's most assured film yet, a slow-burning creeper that pays off in spades.
Sam Adams - Philadelphia City Paper
When the big scares come, they do not come suddenly. Instead, West builds tension steadily and gradually, eventually delivering some good funhouse terror.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
It's this profound synchronicity between what the audience thinks and feels and what the characters feel -- a synchronicity all too often missing from most horror movies -- that elevate West's already remarkable instincts even higher.
Peter Hall - Cinematical
A good campfire style horror movie. The scares are light and fun, not deep horrific terror.
Fred Topel - Screen Junkies
The Innkeepers an enjoyable enough experience to counterweigh the fact that it is ultimately a fruitless, disappointing venture from a story perspective.
Jordan Hoffman - UGO