Review: NO VACANCY
VACANCY, JOY RIDE, WRONG TURN…what do these films collectively have in common? They all are somewhat responsible for NO VACANCY, a film that relies heavily on its “written and directed by the director of YOU GOT SERVED” selling point, which to be completely honest, pretty much lays it out on front street regarding what you’re in store for.
While the group of youngsters just trying to have fun angle has been done to death, with sometimes better delivery, what instantly lets viewers know the type of film that they’re getting, is the excessive amount of lens flares on EVERYTHING. The sun, the motel lights, even glasses, you would think J.J. Abrams’ post production crew had their hand in this one. If you can avert your eyes from the lens flares for at least a few moments, you might be able to follow the story, revolving around a group of lost youngsters, broken down and needing a place to stay until their car gets fixed by some overly welcoming locals, who just happen to run a garage, bar and motel, all in one go. While the locals are also young, hip, ready to party, and also a little too helpful, our main group of kids think nothing of it, until out of nowhere the locals murders of them in plain daylight, acting like it’s just another thing and nothing special.
Sooner than later, the main group of kids begin getting tied up, tortured and well…we’ve seen it before. It’s unfortunate, because I truly have a softspot for these types of films (hell, I even loved JOY RIDE 3) , but unlike the more memorable entries in this subgenre of “youngsters broken down and stalked” category, NO VACANCY just fails to give you anything tangible to hold onto, as the film goes on. As soon as the credits roll, you don’t remember a single character in the film, and the good and bad characters are just a blur, completely easy to mistake for one another. It doesn’t help that the most menacing character happens to look like Johnny Knoxville, and acts completely calm throughout the entire film. While there’s enough severed heads and a couple of gore-gags that might make gorehounds smile, unfortunately, there just isn’t any real substance to the film at all, making it just another movie, overly-directed, instead of adequately written. Had more time been devoted to a script with better and more fleshed out characters and less emphasis spent on lights beaming off of every single inch of the film, it could’ve been something that you’d remember after the credits roll. Sadly, it just isn’t.