Movie Review – No Vacancy (2014)

No Vacancy
Directed by Chris Stokes
Courtesy of Lionsgate
Release Date: July 1, 2014

no vacancy

Don’t confuse this title with the Kate Beckinsale/Luke Wilson thriller VACANCY from 2007…the covers look slightly similar, but there is no relation between the two movies. NO VACANCY, an upcoming horror film from Lionsgate, is a film about seven friends who are captured by a group of sadistic killers at a roadside motel and tortured. And despite that simplistic description, there’s more to the story than what is mentioned. But does this movie succeed in entertaining? I guess the answer to that question depends on what you’re looking for.

If you are not familiar with NO VACANCY, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Lionsgate:

Seven friends on a road trip to Las Vegas are forced to stop at a roadside motel for help when their car breaks down. With no other option, the friends are convinced to spend the night but soon realize that they are trapped and being tortured and killed off one at a time. Now, the friends will need to work together and fight to survive the seemingly helpful group of people who turned their overnight stay into a dreadful, gory nightmare.

The premise of this movie is sound, which is one of the reasons I wanted to like it so much. I mean, who has not had car trouble in the middle of nowhere? That in itself is a scary notion, but throw in some overly friendly ‘helpers’, and you’ve got the potential for a lot of scary situations.

Unfortunately, NO VACANCY never really seems to get off the ground. It looks great and is shot very well…but there’s something big missing. Instead of entertaining and thrilling, I found the film flat and, well, uninteresting for the most part.

I think a big point of dissatisfaction for me is the main characters. They are a snotty and uppity sort, not really likable in any form. So when bad things start to happen to them, I really didn’t feel anything for them. But they’re not so bad that you want them to die. As a result, I didn’t really care one way or the other; my emotion was like “Eh, whatever”.

Also, the story in NO VACANCY is lacking a bit. I liked the opening sequence, with the news report about the fire in the orphanage…but it pretty much broadcasts the big ‘twist’ from the start. From that point on, there’s not a lot of tension that is built up. Obviously, you need a bit of suspense if you want a successful horror flick. Once again, I found myself shrugging my shoulders.

I am going to summarize my review with this: I am simply going to recommend giving this a look for yourself to see how and if you like it. Maybe it just caught me on an off day or something…I don’t know. If you decide to give it a look, hop back over here and leave us a message with your thoughts. Maybe I need to give this one a second chance; but for now, my answer is no.


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