Perfectly suited to the shabby delights of the hometown drive-in theaters of yester-year, director Nimród Antal's creepy cockroach of a thriller feels less horrifying than it does curiously nostalgic. David (Luke Wilson) and Amy (Kate Beckinsale) Fox are a bickering couple driving back to L.A. when David's wrong turns lead them to the Pinewood, an old motel where, they soon realize, manager Mason intends to make them the stars of his next grisly snuff film. Antal smartly adheres to the no- frills demands of B-movie horror, eliciting impressive chills from old-fashioned suffocating dread rather than the now usual gore. And Wilson and Beckinsale superbly execute everything that's required of their charactersnamely, yelling and running. At a time when so many genre films go splat because of large budgets or big egos, the small-scale pleasures of Vacancy are a welcome surprise.
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