Vacancy

User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 172 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 9 out of 172
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  1. Dec 26, 2011
    10
    To put it plain and simple, This is horror. Vacancy not only keeps you on the edge of your seat but it also manages to suck you in and keep you interested every step of the way. I loved it.
  2. Nov 1, 2013
    8
    Hungarian 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 lastHungarian 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.
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  3. Jul 16, 2014
    10
    Vacancy is an intense thriller with stylish scares and visuals. Vacancy will surprise you and captivate
    you with its refreshing style and plot. One of the best thrillers in years.
  4. ChadS.
    Apr 20, 2007
    8
    For anybody who's been lucky(well...) enough to see the faux-documentary "Man Bites Dog", will recognize the snuff films David(Luke Wilson) and Amy(Kate Beckinsale) discover as nihilistic examples of neorealism; and its maker, a deranged auteur(he has an editing bay), who like Vittorio DeSica("The Bicycle Thief", "Umberto D.) or any filmmaker with a realist aesthetic, utilitzes real For anybody who's been lucky(well...) enough to see the faux-documentary "Man Bites Dog", will recognize the snuff films David(Luke Wilson) and Amy(Kate Beckinsale) discover as nihilistic examples of neorealism; and its maker, a deranged auteur(he has an editing bay), who like Vittorio DeSica("The Bicycle Thief", "Umberto D.) or any filmmaker with a realist aesthetic, utilitzes real people and real locations in an economically depressed area. "Vacancy" questions the motivations of a filmmaker that seems to fetishize violence(like Eli Roth; you wonder about that guy) and the audiences who derive pleasure from watching innocent people being put under constant sadistic duress. Seen through Mason's cameras, Amy and David are the unenvied stars of a schlocky exploitation film like "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". Like Remy Belvaux and Andre Bonzel's 1992 masterpiece("C'est arrive pres des chez vous", or "Man Bites Dog"), "Vacancy" puts you in the shoes of Mason(Frank Whaley), who is watching one of his "films" in another room when the bickering couple rings his motel bell. If you were watching the very same film(out of the context of "Vacancy"), you'd praise the director for its realism. "Man Bites Dog" was a seminal film about the darker side of vouyerism because the Belgian production estranged audiences from the hurtful acts against humanity we've been conditioned to dismiss as "movie violence", as opposed to the real violence that we'd normally revile. It asked us if there's something unnatural about watching people getting killed for entertainment. "Vacancy" soft-pedals the faux-documentary's ideas, but if you equate the realism of the snuff films with the potential fate of the Foxs, the horror movie cliches they exhibit seem more like primal fear instead of a stock character's imbecility. Expand
  5. AMovieCritic
    Apr 22, 2007
    8
    A surprisingly effective horror/thriller. The atmosphere is excellent, the movie is almost always suspenseful, the villain is very creepy, the movie does NOT rely on jump scares or excessive blood or gore...it's just a great, suspenseful horror movie. I'm glad the studio kept it with an R-rating. Hopefully it will find success on DVD. (After a relatively disappointing opening weekend.)
  6. HansR.
    Apr 24, 2007
    10
    I'm amazed!!! This movie is awesome. Really scary and the actors (Luke & Kate) did a great job!
  7. KathrynnM.
    Apr 24, 2007
    10
    Guys. You have to go in cinema and watch Vacancy!!! They released so many terrible horror movies (Hitcher, Black Christmas, Dead Silence, Messengers, Reaping) in the last months that I didn't expect to see a good horror movie in future. But Vacancy is just amazing! It's a bit different from the trailer. This is a scary movie. Thanks Nimrod Antal for this awesome movie!
  8. SophiaH.
    Apr 24, 2007
    10
    I can't understand why this movie are gonna to be a big boxoffice flop??? Too many thrillers in theaters. I just saw Fracture and this one last weekend and I liked more Vacancy.
  9. OrdepZ.
    Apr 26, 2007
    9
    I loved it I absolutley loved it! It was great. A classical suspense/thriller that had me trying to bite my nails and want to scream at the screen for someone doing something dumb. Of course although the movie was good there were alot of cliche mistakes made that although they were cliche made the movie that much more interesting. But generallyu speaking I loved the movie. The ending was I loved it I absolutley loved it! It was great. A classical suspense/thriller that had me trying to bite my nails and want to scream at the screen for someone doing something dumb. Of course although the movie was good there were alot of cliche mistakes made that although they were cliche made the movie that much more interesting. But generallyu speaking I loved the movie. The ending was horrible, I dint agree with the way the movie ended simpley because there was no action, no hand moving after a supposed kill, no karma for a stupid move. Expand
  10. MichaelL.
    Apr 26, 2007
    8
    With more plot holes than Swiss cheese, you can't really take "Vacancy" seriously. That said, it still scared the living daylights out me. It's good old fashioned creep-out suspense--not the usual blood and guts stupidity of today's slasher films. Not that I'm comparing "Vacancy" to Hitchcock's "Psycho", but it's clearly a lowbrow homage--from the opening With more plot holes than Swiss cheese, you can't really take "Vacancy" seriously. That said, it still scared the living daylights out me. It's good old fashioned creep-out suspense--not the usual blood and guts stupidity of today's slasher films. Not that I'm comparing "Vacancy" to Hitchcock's "Psycho", but it's clearly a lowbrow homage--from the opening credits, to the locale, to the creepy desk clerk (played by Frank Whaley, who seems to be performing in a different film, he's sooooooo over-the-top Snidley Whiplash), to the almost total lack of bloodiness. The last point is key--horror can still be achieved without gore, with a tidy idea, excellent leads (Beckinsale and Wilson are great) and effective cinematography. Not to mention the best credits I've seen in a decade. Expand
  11. SteveS.
    May 1, 2007
    10
    My wife and I loved it! And no gore to boot. Great acting, and very relatable characters. Unmarried twenty somethings might hate this film, though.
  12. FredG.
    May 18, 2007
    8
    Kept me on the edge of my seat....very entertaining.
  13. kamil
    Jul 20, 2007
    9
    Great horror. Sometimes little B-movie miracle happens. Just don't take it seriously and enjoy beautiful beckinsale and surprisingly good wilson in this frightening and entertaining flick. More quality horrors please.
  14. RobertI.
    Aug 18, 2007
    7
    Good scary flick, at a time when too much that passes for a nail-biter acts more like a manicure. Hold somebody's hand.
  15. MarieM
    Aug 21, 2007
    8
    Hitchcock would be proud. All the other reviews talk about how little gore there is and they're right and that's SO refreshing. The only thing I'll add is that Luke Wilson's a wonderful actor and I wish he were in more movies. He's completely natural and sympathetic yet strong here.
  16. Mar 10, 2012
    8
    Was actually pretty good. The cast was solid, The story was interesting. Its a good suspensful movie that is well worth the watch imo. I really liked it.
  17. May 25, 2014
    8
    The movie vacancy is not bad but i was expecting better because there was not enough action and when there was action Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale were always trying to escape.But i like it
  18. Sep 9, 2014
    7
    Very good horror movie to watch!!! Vacancy not only keeps you on the edge of your seat but it also manages to suck you in and keep you interested every step of the way. I loved it.
Metascore
54

Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 27
  2. Negative: 3 out of 27
  1. If "Psycho" and "Peeping Tom" are the seminal killer-as-voyeur movies, Vacancy is the nasty little runt offspring with no other purpose in life but to gnaw on you.
  2. While the sadism doesn't stoop -- rise? -- to the level of the "Saw" horror-thrillers, Vacancy does have a name cast.
  3. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    50
    At the risk of spoiling anything, Vacancy, is one strange movie. It ends so precipitously, one can only assume it's a setup for the sequel (which, given all that happens, seems a mite unlikely).