Universal acclaim- based on 124 Ratings
Nov 1, 2013Hungarian director Nimród Antal’s debut was screened at the Prix Un Certain Regard of the Cannes Film Festival 2003 and with the suspense horror Vacancy, he establishes himself as a hope for future European independent cinema. This rather short Hitchock homage does have an A-list cast, including Kate Beckinsale, Luke Wilson, and Frank Whaley, but as we’ve seen well enough in the last couple of years, that alone doesn’t make for a good horror movie. Vacancy proves otherwise though, and impresses with never-ending thrill, creditable and genuine acting, and a completely rational story.
After the nicely designed title sequence, the movie commences without any digressions, but it will take some time to completely grasp the situation. The screenplay deftly includes the needed information into the everyday dialogues of the two protagonists and knows just how much exposition is enough. Through that, the actual horror can quickly kick in and after not even 20 minutes, you’ll already have goosebumps and hands tied to the chair. The macabre game can begin and a difficult to watch assemblage of snuff films is followed by a nocturnal chase through an isolated motel, which doesn’t always omit clichés but conceals them through the director’s original and unpredictable ideas. However, the greatest asset stays the almost unendurable suspense, which makes for such an uncomfortable viewing that on one side, you’ll want to quit the movie and on the other, keeps you hooked in front of the TV.
The movie completely lays down all horror stereotypes in its final act by staging it in sunlight, and it may for a moment seem that it degenerates into the bizarre. Fortunately, that’s not the case, and Antal stirs up a mysterious open end that is without equal. As the credits start in the style of the title sequence, you’ll not only be relieved to stop shivering, but also exhilarated to have ultimately seen a really great horror movie.… Full Review »