IndieWire: The story behind the reason you made “The Innkeepers” is almost as good (and scary) as the film itself. Can you tell it for those who aren’t familiar?
Ti West: Well the hotel that inspired the film is actually in the film. What happened was we were making my previous film The House of the Devil, and we were staying at this hotel called the Yankee Pedlar Inn because it was the best option to put the crew up. It was the cheapest and nicest place we could find and about 25 minutes from our location.
We would go and shoot this satanic horror movie nearby, but the weirder stuff would happen back at the hotel. It just started off kind of goofy, but it became this thing where most of the cast and crew started to think there was something up with the hotel.
The staff at the hotel believe it’s haunted. The whole town believes it’s haunted. So it has this kind of mystique to it. But what was charming to me about it, was that it’s this mixture of a historic, perhaps haunted building and totally bad ’70s renovation. The people who work there are in their twenties…part timers. So there’s this weird lore of the place. At the same time, the place doesn’t live up to it. So I found it really charming and interesting.
I wanted to make a ghost story. I was trying to think of how to do it cheap. Then I thought, “Why not make a movie we lived?” The place let us be there before, so they were likely to let us do it again. That’s kind of how it all came to be. They let us back in and we moved very quickly.
Read the full interview at IndieWire: Ti West On the Real Haunting That Inspired ‘The Innkeepers’
Adam Green’s Victor Crowley
The most refreshing part of Victor Crowley was that it was not bogged down (pun intended) by unnecessary back story justifying the villain and his behaviour. I have really disliked the trend of director’s releasing biopocs of my favourite senseless killers, like Rob Zombie’s Halloween or the 2017 movie Leatherface. What attracts me to these villains is their senseless violence and mania, not trying to figure out why they are that way. To me, a slasher villain is a hurricane, some careless and destructive act of nature that you don’t want to cross.
Victor Crowley was, in contrast, a straight-up gore flick: another installment of a group of people who cross paths with the murdering monster Victor Crowley. While the storyline was flimsy and the characters a bit annoying, the face-smashing, decapitating and disemboweling made up for it.
This installment of the Hatchet series won’t be my favourite, but it holds a deserved place within the canon.
Green, Adam. Victor Crowley, ArieScope Pictures, 2017.
Poster image from Movieweb.
Michael Rubbo’s The Peanut Butter Solution
The Peanut Butter Solution is a Canadian, family-friendly horror classic. The story centres around a kid who lost his hair from fright after visiting a scary, abandoned house. He then gets a recipe from a ghost to grow his hair back, but this solution only leads him into the hands of a villain.
Watching The Peanut Butter Solution as a kid, I liked that it was funny, scary and bizarre. Even as an adult, I don’t think that I have ever seen anything quite like it. With a bit of an old school Degrassi feel to it, this movie is fun and worth a watch if you haven’t seen it yet.
Rubbo, Michael. The Peanut Butter Solution, Cinéma Plus (CA) / New World Pictures (US), 1985.
I love discovering that a personal horror-film favourite is based on a novel:
“Psycho was the first movie adapted from a novel by Robert Bloch (1917-1994), and despite its great success, he only received $9,000 from selling the film rights to his novel. However, the movie helped his career tremendously, and he wrote for a number of films and television shows over the next three decades, most of them in the horror/thriller/suspense genre, such as The Night Walker (1964) starring Barbara Stanwyck, and Strait-Jacket (1964) with Joan Crawford.” (from Trivia & Fun Facts About PSYCHO by Turner Classic Movies)
Adding Bloch to my reading list!
(poster from Discreet Charms & Obscure Objects: Images of rare/well-known movie posters)