Ti West has quickly become of of our favorite genre filmmakers here at Sound On Sight. House Of The Devil landed on our list of best films from 2010 and Roost recently landed on my list of best vampire films ever made. I have a feeling his latest work, The Innkeepers will also top Sound On Sight’s year end list of best films. Here is what Michael Ryan had to say in his review from the Fantasia Film Festival:
There is a sense in which Ti West is a man (wonderfully) out of step with time. He makes films using techniques and methods seemingly long abandoned. His films build menace and threat slowly, almost imperceptibly. Each isolated moment is easily dismissed, but for those paying attention the dread mounts drop by drop, until you are drowning in fear and the slightest, most miniscule thing: a piano key being played, a beer can falling down a flight of stairs, is enough to send you clawing the ceiling in fright.
If we say that West achieves the most scares with the least, by least we don’t mean least effort. The craftmanship of this film, in support of building that atmosphere of fear, is outstanding, especially the layered and creepy sound design.
There would be a temptation to arm the ghosthunters with video cameras and employ the modern arsenal of shaky-cam techniques to elicit fear. Instead, West arms Luke and Claire with headphones and a sound recorder, forcing both them and the audience to listen for the ghost. West’s work has been described as atmospheric and West does his best in The Innkeepers to film that atmosphere, to film what can be sensed but not seen.
West’s camera does not shake. It is in fact, slow, steady and silky smooth, almost as if West is consciously declaring that it is the audience that should shake and not the camera. The well-framed shots leave the sensitive in the audience studying every inch, deperately searching for traces of the invisible.
For those with the patience for his slow-build cinematic magic, Ti West is a singular genius, and The Innkeepers is his best film to date.
Here is the trailer. Enjoy![vsw id=”endLt6cX0fk” source=”youtube” width=”500″ height=”425″ autoplay=”no”]