Vacancy 2 (2009)

The title; Vacancy 2 is actually something of a misnomer as this is a prequel and not a sequel as the name might suggest. For anyone who’s seen Vacancy, this prologue sheds a little light on how the owners of its infamous motel come to be the murderous psychopaths that they are.

After the entrepreneurial owners of The Meadow View Inn inadvertently witness a pre-meditated murder on one of their in-room cameras whilst trying to manufacture and sell amateur, voyeuristic porn tapes, they storm in and tie up the perpetrator of the crime. After a hugely implausible and fairly preposterous conversation with the man, they are somehow persuaded into turning their modest porn pursuit into an apparently more financially fruitful snuff movie empire. One night, three teenagers check into the motel and become the unwitting victims of the owners fledgling murder racket.

Starring a cast of faces that you might recognise but probably won’t remember where from, Vacancy 2 boasts some half decent acting. Agnes Bruckner is competent but always seems to deliver a variation on the wide-eyed, surly but comely character that she’s adopted as her own. As such, while her character is the most believable of the bunch, at times it does feel a little like she’s phoning her performance in. The only actor to return from 2007’s Vacancy is Scott G. Anderson so most of the action is pre-ordained as it’s relatively obvious who will survive and who will suffer a violent death at his hands. The only real surprise is the order in which they die, but it’s still not enough to make this a worthwhile effort.

The killers are sufficiently menacing and cruel on the whole, but they’re so inept that you begin to wonder how any of them made it out alive for there to have been any evil-doings in the original Vacancy. They are often outsmarted by our protagonists but the ways in which the teenagers occasionally attain the upper-hand are so farfetched and flimsy that it further detracts from any potential plausibility that the events might have had.

While Vacancy 2 had the potential to be an adequate horror movie, despite the implausible premise, it failed to deliver on almost every count. Taking too long to get to the action and never quite reaching it’s indicated promise when it does, it provides us only with under-developed characters and nonsensical plot devices; the utterly ridiculous ending is a particular bugbear of mine. While Vacancy 2 makes up for the blood and gore that the first movie lacked, it can’t match it for scares and tension. It could have been worse but it could have been a whole lot better.

Rating: ★★★½☆☆☆☆☆☆

2 Comments on “Vacancy 2”

  1. Boris says:

    Can’t wait for the third one, set in a travelodge

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