It's welcome to see another movie that relies more on apprehension and suspense than torture chambers. Vacancy might not get Mr. Hitchcock smiling from above. But he won't be spinning in his grave, either.
[Director] Antal smartly adheres to the no-frills demands of B-movie horror, eliciting impressive chills from old-fashioned suffocating dread rather than the now usual gore.
Short, sharp and to the point, Vacancy has a single goal, and that is to scare the hell out of you. It's not as gleefully sadistic as, say, Hostel, but it will give you one very rough night's sleep. Naturally, I mean that as a compliment.
If Psycho and Peeping Tom are the seminal killer-as-voyeur movies, Vacancy is the nasty little runt offspring with no other purpose in life but to gnaw on you. This it does uncommonly well.
You start to think you're going to get a first-rate psychological thriller and instead you get third-rate schlock, with some legitimate scary moments but no insight into the motivation behind [Frank Whaley's character's] psychosis.
The kind of sleazily effective horror/genre movie Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino were trying for in Grindhouse. Vacancy catches you by the throat and puts you through the wringer.
80 minutes of formulaic unpleasantness isn't even close to my idea of a good time, and I doubt that Hitchcock himself could have done very much with Mark L. Smith's script.