Vacancy 2: The First Cut (2008) Movie Review
Written By: JEH
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Eric Bross
Producers: Hal Lieberman
Writers: Mark L. Smith
Date Released: October 24, 2008
Agnes Bruckner as Jessica Pruitt
Trevor Wright as Caleb
Arjay Smith as Tanner
David Moscow as Gordon
Brian Klugman as Reece
Beau Billingslea as Otis
Scott G. Anderson as Smith
Rating = 1/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Set three years before the first movie, Vacancy 2: The First Cut (2008) tells the story of the first snuff film victims in the Meadow View Inn. Gordon (David Moscow) and Reece (Brian Klugman) use room 6 to secretly videotape the intimacy of their guests. After they experience a decline in the demand for voyeuristic porn movies, they discover a larger market for snuff films. Caleb (Trevor Wright), Jessica (Agnes Bruckner), and Tanner (Arjay Smith) check into the inn, where they quickly find out that they are the next victims of the Meadow View management.
Vacancy 2: The First Cut (2008) heavily discusses voyeur porn, snuff films, and serial killers. However, no actual intercourse is displayed and only minimal gore is shown. There are some bloody scenes, but nothing shocking. The special effects are not convincing, especially the dead body that looks like a bloodied mannequin. All violence is conveniently blocked by something or quickly cut off.
The Grave Review
Vacancy (2007) made way for a lot of possibilities after establishing the existence of hundreds of snuff films in the story. Eventually, Vacancy 2: The First Cut (2008) was released to tell the tale of how the snuff films started and to show the struggles of the first victims. While this is a good idea for a follow-up film, the final product sadly disappoints.
In the first Vacancy film, Frank Whaley does a great job intimidating and creeping out the audience. Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson also give believable performances as the victims. However, the villains in the second Vacancy film feel lacking. It tries to copy the creepy manager character from Frank Whaley, but the acting does not make it convincing. A returning character, Smith (Scott G. Anderson), has more screen time here, but his limited appearance in the first film as the Killer feels more unnerving. The victims, Caleb, Jessica, and Tanner, are all unlikable with their forced bickering and dumb decisions. What made the characters of Beckinsale and Wilson likable in the first film is their ability to think and do reasonable decisions. But Jessica and her companions feel empty; you won’t root for them as they get chased by the killers.
Vacancy 2: The First Cut (2008) probably knows that it fails to build tension, so it relies on jump scares. Also, the dialogue tries to tell the audience what’s supposed to be creepy or scary. When Gordon first meets the group, he tells them “If you need anything just scream.” It’s meant to give the audiences an ominous feeling, but it just feels silly. The characters try to sell the non-creepy tagline by discussing it further, “Isn’t that supposed to be yell, not scream?” But it just solidifies how poorly written the movie is.
None of the scares work. There are a couple of scenes where they spin the camera around and slowly add red on the entire screen. Not only is it annoying, but it also gives motion sickness. Also, Jessica likes to scream “No!” at least three times every time she’s being attacked. Instead of inducing panic, it, again, annoys.
Maybe if you haven’t seen the first Vacancy, you can enjoy this movie. But if you loved the first Vacancy, this prequel will disappoint you. Only see this prequel if you’re curious enough to see how everything started and to find out more about a returning character. But you won’t miss much if you skip this one.
Because of the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Vacancy 2: The First Cut (2008) one grave out of five graves.
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