[Vacancy:The First Cut]
Plot:Prequel to "Vacancy" where Jessica, her fiancee Caleb, and Caleb's buddy Tanner check into the lonely Meadow View Inn in the middle of rural nowhere, they have no idea that the motel is run by a homicidal maniac and two vicious greedheads who are making a bloody dollar by selling snuff films on the black market.
My Thoughts:Good enough prequel.
Review:"Vacancy 2:The First Cut", is actually "Vacancy 1.5"...a prequel to the first film which starred Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale. The movie tells the story of how the Meadow View Inn became a mecca for crazies who have a thing for snuff films. The way the backstory is constructed is quite interesting, and is really written alot better than I expected it to be. Basically, a man is given a room for the night by the Meadow View Inn manager. The voyeurism angle is a constant throughout the movie, and we learn that the cameras set up in the rooms to watch the guests were an early aspect of the whole set up, only their original purpose was to watch couples "get it on" with one another.
But when a guest renting a room viciously slaughters a woman with a knife, the Inn managers manage to knock the guy out and incompacitate him...giving them time to figure out what to do with him. However, they soon learn that the snuff film of the man commiting the murder will bring in cash from "certain" people who are into that sort of thing. They then formulate a plan with the murderer, which is for him to continue to create snuff movies for them, in exchange for their silence about his initial crime. A deal with the devil so to speak.
And since he enjoys his "work", and wants to avoid jail time, he agrees to said offer. It isn't long before they get their next customers, a young woman named Jessica (Agnes Bruckner), her soon-to-be-husband Caleb, and Caleb's childhood friend Tanner. Who are en route to Jessica's parents place, and not wanting to wake her folks, decide to stay at Meadow View for the night, and arrive to her parents place the next day. Upon their arrival, everything seems normal enough...but when Tanner discovers the hidden video feed, him, Caleb, and Jessica decide to cut their stay short.
A move which the two Inn managers, and their "business partner"/snuff film star don't like one bit. Now the three are thrust into a fight for survival out in the middle of nowhere, where the only people they can rely on for help are themselves. "Vacancy:The First Cut" is exactly what you'd expect it to be. Which is why it's a good film. As a prequel, it does everything it's supposed to do. Which is reveal the origins and history of the deviant behavior which was prevalent at the Meadow View Inn, and how it all got started.
While the movie could've turned out to be quite a bore, based on it's story which simply delves into the background of a rural landmark so to speak....the script is strong enough to pull the movie through for 90 minutes of solid suspense, action, and decent performances. It's not a film which will wow you, or have alot of twists, turns, and surprises. It goes by the book pretty much, and sticks to the series regulars of crazy rednecks with sharp objects, lots of blood and gore, gruesome deaths, and various chase sequences.
But for the type of film that it is, and because it's a sequel to a movie like "Vacancy"....in that regard, it's a movie that works. Agnes Bruckner gives a good performance as Jessica, and you can pretty much make an educated guess of where her characters is gonna end up by the time the films finale rolls around. Which shouldn't come as much of a shock considering her roles in films like "Venom", where she had to "woman up' to save her own skin from the threat of danger. There are a few minor non-cliche moments in the movie, such as who dies first of the three travelers, and a scenario near the end where they run to a couple living nearby for help.
But then again the film also has it's share of cliche moments, such as the ever-so-popular car sabotage scene, which makes it impossible for the three travelers to leave promptly once they discover what the inn owners are up to. The deaths in the film are actually alot more gruesome than the ones in "Vacancy". Which might come as a bit of a shock, but considering "Vacancy" had most of it's violence take place in VHS tapes being played back, and one scene at the end where Kate Beckinsale has to fight for her life, it really isn't that big of a shock in the overall scheme of things.
In "Vacancy 2"...we get all kinds of painful moments such as brutal stabbings, limbs being smashed with hammers, and people being blown away by shotguns. I believe when Sony greenlit the prequel, they obviously took into account the idea to make it more edgy and hard-hitting than "Vacancy". And that means ratcheting up the blood and gore levels. The finale is an exciting one, and definitely delivers in every important aspect that a rural-slasher film should, but the final scene is a bit of a mystery...and can be taken at two different viewpoints. "Vacancy 2" isn't the greatest thing since sliced bread, but in the scope of being a prequel/sequel to "Vacancy"...it delivers for the most part.
Positives:Agnes Bruckner gives a good performance as Jessica, as do Arjay Smith as Tanner and Trevor Wright as Caleb. Satisfactory levels of blood and gore, good suspense and action scenes, and a pretty good story.
Negatives:The ending is unclear and some cliche moments which were a bit annoying.
Overall:Two and a half out of four stars.
Talk about it in the Forums!)
Back to the main page)