The only real vacancy in this film's storyline comes in the last 20 minutes, when the bad guys seem to suddenly suck at their jobs. Unfortunately, that leaves you with only about an hour's worth of quality horror since the run time sits at a paltry 80 minutes. In the first hour, however, the producers of Vacancy pack quite a punch.
Luke Wilson (Old School, Blades of Glory) and Kate Beckinsale (Underworld, Click) play the Foxes, an unhappily married couple taking a final road trip before their divorce goes final. While his wife sleeps in the passenger seat, Mr. Fox takes a shortcut and lands the pair at a seedy middle-of-nowhere motel when the car's engine fails. Rowdy next-door neighbors and suspicious murder-filled video tapes in their room suggest this pair is in for one heck of a long night.
Wilson and Beckinsale bring a sort of comfortable believability to their characters, a feat not typically accomplished by today's mostly teen-cast horror films. Artsy film vet Frank Whaley (Field of Dreams) and former child star Ethan Embry (Can't Hardly Wait) round out the cast as the motel's creepster manager and an adjacent auto shop employee.
Vacancy's "scary hotel" scenario doesn't blaze any trails (remember Psycho?), but the tight shots and close quarters of the lodgings supply plenty of heart-pounding moments. And with stars that you recognize, it's a lot more difficult to scoff at gaps in the plot.
Yes, the villains don't turn out to be the most difficult to stop. But you'll probably be frightened while they're wreaking havoc. And isn't that the point?