Quirkiness and a certain originality don’t actually mask the fact that there is not a lot happening in Ti West’s rather lame ghost film.
Sara Paxton gives an appealing performance as Claire – alongside Pat Healy as Luke – as co-workers at a haunted New England hotel on its last weekend of opening.
With the hours ticking by until it shuts forever, they are determined to find out any truths they can about the extent of the spookery going on there.
A handful of guests – in particular Kelly McGillis as a washed-up actress turned ghost-hunter – add a little to the suspense, and there is one particular moment that will shoot you out of your seat.
But elsewhere, it’s all fairly predictable. As soon as the old guy turns up demanding a particular room on an abandoned floor, you know exactly what he is going to do in there – and he duly does it.
Overhanging it all is the spectre of a tragic girl believed to have hanged herself in the hotel a century before, but she doesn’t materialise quite enough to become terribly interesting, and in the end, though tragedy does occur, it’s difficult to see that the whole thing hangs together very persuasively – or indeed very chillingly.
The style in which it is all presented has certainly got something about it, but in the end, probably not quite enough.
Rental courtesy of Blockbuster. For details of other new releases, see www.blockbuster.co.uk.