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New On DVD This Week: 'Vacancy'

A young, good-looking couple decides to take a shortcut off the main interstate in the middle of the night. When their car breaks down, it forces them to stay the night in a creepy motel and end up fighting to save their lives. This tiring plot is something we’ve seen a hundred times before, but Vacancy, which hit shelves on DVD yesterday, is anything but tiring.

Vacancy2png After David (Luke Wilson) and Amy (Kate Beckinsale) Fox’s car breaks down, they decide to abandon the vehicle and walk to a motel they passed earlier to seek help. They are greeted by Mason (Frank Whaley) the night manager at the motel, who tells them that the local mechanic is gone for the night and that they can stay in one of his rooms (the honeymoon room to be exact). The couple who has been bickering the entire time decides to stay and that’s when the fun begins. Tired and frustrated with his wife, David decides to watch a little TV to unwind. When he realizes that there is no cable, he pops in one of the many tapes that have been left on the stand. What he sees on the screen is a poorly shot slasher movie, but after examining the snuff film more closely he realizes that it was shot in the very room he is in. Realizing that they are trapped with cameras pointing at them at every direction, the couple finds themselves caught in an ugly cat and mouse game, and struggle to find their way out of the room.

Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale deliver heart-pumping suspense throughout the film as they crawlVacancy1png  through underground passages below the hotel and hide from their deranged attackers. The intensity between the two actors is so realistic that you feel as if you are there beside them as they try to figure a way out of the room. Frank Whaley gives a powerful performance as the manager turned snuff director. His character, which never borderlines typical horror movie villain, literally disgusts and disturbs you. But what really makes the movie work is the element of  lighting. Shot mostly in a dim setting, the lighting used brings the art of suspense to life. What music did for Halloween, carefully placed lighting does for this film.

Refreshingly fun and suspenseful, Vacancy is a must rent thrill ride you are sure to enjoy!

--Diana DiSilvestro

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