The Innkeepers is a bog-standard horror outing but Woody Allen film fascinates

FILM
THE INNKEEPERS
Cert 15 | By Natasha Culzac
**

AN EMPTY, rustic, provincial hotel is the setting for Ti West’s latest indie horror flick, The Innkeepers. New England’s The Yankee Pedlar Inn, which is said to harbour paranormal forces in real life as well as fiction, is closing down – presumably customers grew tired of the doors slamming themselves shut.

In the hotel’s last days, two of its employees, Claire (Sara Paxton) and Luke (Pat Healy), attempt to expose the unworldly goings on with amateur recordings and late-night saunters through the myriad corridors and deserted rooms. What unfolds, though, is average horror-movie fodder: histrionic build-up music; creaking signs and spooky false-alarms. The limited number of characters and locations does add to the appeal, much like a supernatural sitcom minus the comedy. Luke’s offbeat personality, à la Juno, makes him the most likable of the bunch but even he can’t answer some of the more ambiguous points that come up towards the end. It’s mediocre horror with just enough scares to get you by.

FILM
WOODY ALLEN: A DOCUMENTARY
Cert 15 | By Natasha Culzac
****
DIE-HARD WOODY Allen fans should probably be aware that this commentary on the career of one of America’s directorial sweethearts is, overall, non-revelatory. The documentary is the brainchild of Curb Your Enthusiasm director and producer, Robert Weide. His unprecedented access into the colourful life of such a complex mind didn’t come without sacrifices, with the more controversial moments of Allen’s past only briefly touched upon.

Using interviews with big name stars, including Allen’s ex-lover and colleague Diane Keaton; fellow Hollywood heavyweight, Martin Scorsese; and recent muse Scarlett Johansson, the documentary aims to paint an in-depth and varied picture of the beloved director, including the moments when things went wrong.

The archive footage of his appearances on US chat shows and even the BBC is littered with quips and gags from Allen’s early years as a comic; people who know little of him will find this a fascinating portrait.