Vacancy (2007)

vacancy poster 2007 movie
5.5 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 6/10

Short and quick

Some questionable acting, ending feels like it does pay off

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Vacancy

Studio:  Hal Lieberman Company

Genre(s):  Horror/Mystery/Suspense

Release Date(s):  April 20, 2007

MPAA Rating:  R

vacancy luke wilson kate beckinsale

I know this might not be the best time with the killers and all, but I think we should talk about our relationship…

Amy and David Fox (Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson) are a married couple going through a messy divorce after the death of their child.  A wrong turn leads Amy and David to a roadside hotel for the night, and a cache of VHS tapes reveal a horror.  David and Amy suddenly find themselves in a fight for their lives, and the killers seem to know their every move.

Directed by Nimród Antal, Vacancy is a survivalist horror thriller.  The movie release was met with average reviews and a rather weak box office return.

Vacancy looked like a terribly generic movie…and it was a terribly generic movie.  The film has the cliché set-up with “lost a remote highway and a car breakdown” as the basis and launches into a survival of the fittest type film.  The only thing Vacancy really has going for it is that it is short but even then the film has dead spots.

vacancy killer motel


The movie doesn’t seem to have sense of urgency it needs.  Despite a short runtime, it starts out as a slow burn with everyday character in an everyday situation that turns dangerous.  Once it is revealed that the characters have walked into a trap (thankfully that set-up was rather quick), the killers proceed to be one of the worst killers of all time.  They don’t stop a character from calling in the real police (and an officer gets killed with no follow-up by the 911 operator who dispatched him) and the easily discovered tunnel system under the hotel apparently is not very well planned out by the killers who easily get lost.  If Amy and David had been their first “kills”, I would have understood the disorganization and how they hadn’t been caught…but as seasoned killers, they were amateurs.

The cast also struggles.  Luke Wilson plays his normal “ah jeez” type acting doesn’t apply well to the high action level of the film while Kate Beckinsale plays her normal character as well (Sarah Jessica Parker was the original lead).  The killers aren’t developed enough with Ethan Embry and Frank Whaley getting some screentime, but a third killer (played by Scott Anderson) just showing up later.  It just seems like a hodgepodge of acting style and characters.

vacancy kate beckinsale gun ending

I’ve shot a lot of things in my movie career…and you’re just going to be another one!

The movie was trying to put suspense over gore, and it isn’t a gory movie (it is rated PG-13).  The only problem with that is that the script was too loose and too underdeveloped that at least gore might have punched up the script.

Vacancy is a dull thriller…which goes against the genre itself.  The movie starts slow, has scenes meant to be intense which aren’t very intense, and abruptly ends (and I thought maybe a post-scene would add some scares…nope).  The movie feels like it should have taken its tone from a ’70s grindhouse like The Hills Have Eyes, but instead slowly rolls down the road.  Vacancy was followed by a prequel sequel called Vacancy 2:  The First Cut in 2008.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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