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March 12, 2011

SXSW: ‘The Innkeepers’ haunted by real Connecticut hotel

Posted in: Movies

Marc Olsen checks in with “The Innkeepers” at 24 Frames, our must-read sister blog. Here’s an excerpt…

Sara Paxton in “The Innkeppers” (Dark Sky Films)

Ti West does not believe in ghosts. The 30-year-old writer/director/editor of “The Innkeepers,” which will have its world premiere Saturday as part of the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas, considers himself a skeptic when it comes to matters of the supernatural. But while shooting his previous film, the slow-burn satanic horror flick “The House of the Devil,” strange things happened at the hotel where the cast and crew were staying. So strange that West ended up writing a script about a haunted hotel.

The Yankee Pedlar Inn in Torrington, Conn., not only provided the inspiration for “The Innkeepers,” but West was able to shoot there as well. In spring of last year, the production more or less took over the establishment for their 17-day shoot. Everyone stayed there again too, this time just popping down to the lobby from their rooms when it was time to work. “So this movie is really close to what was happening when we weren’t shooting ‘House of the Devil,’ when we were just staying there,” West said in an interview this week in Los Angeles, noting that doors would open and close, lights would go on and off and everyone seemed to be having especially strange and vivid dreams.

When “The Innkeepers” plays in Austin on Saturday night at the 1,200-seat Paramount Theater, it will be the biggest single audience one of West’s films has played to in the United States. The film goes into SXSW looking for distribution, and its prime time slot and marquee venue could make it into one of the most buzzed-about screenings of this year’s festival…

THERE’S MORE, READ THE REST

– Marc Olsen

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