Mixing a workplace comedy with the supernatural, director Ti West is hoping to offer audiences a refreshing spin to traditional ghost stories with Magnet Releasing's "The Innkeepers," which hits theaters Friday.
"The Innkeepers" centers on a haunted hotel set to close down as two employees seek proof of the supernatural. West wrote the film after developing the idea while he shot his 2009 movie "The House of the Devil."
"I wanted to play with all of the classic, 18th century, not necessarily clichés, but original haunting themes, but then put in these modern nerds that don’t belong in that setting and just see how they would react," West explained in an interview with Ain't It Cool News. "So I think for the most part that’s how I approach making films and how I approach the genre is like, 'Well we’ve seen zombie movies and vampire movies and ghost movies, and we are going to see a lot more. But it’d be interesting to see how different people react in those movies,' and that’s what this was about.
"The ghost story is very traditional, it’s not revolutionary, but the approach to it and the characters in it I think are unlike any characters that have been in any ghost movie before. So that makes it worth doing."
West finds such storytelling shake ups as one way to keep the horror genre from sinking into a rut.
"It’s a genre that truly as a filmmaker you can just experiment and do all kinds of great things," West explained, "but you can be successful just copying something else, and so people do that and I think it made the genre very lowest common denominator, and I think that’s a shame.
"I would like to see interesting filmmakers trying stuff in horror, because even people who think they don’t like horror movies do like horror movies; they’ve just been inundated with not many intellectual horror movies. That’s important, I think."
In March 2011, "The Innkeepers" premiered at SXSW and has toured a number of festivals since then, earning favorable buzz in the process.
Derek Curl, Peter Phok, Larry Fessenden and West produced the picture for MPI/Dark Sky Films, in partnership with Glass Eye Pix.
The film stars Sara Paxton, Pat Healy and Kelly McGillis.
In addition to "The House of the Devil," West's previous credits include "Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever," "Trigger Man" and "The Roost." His upcoming projects include "V/H/S" and "The ABCs of Death."
See more of West's interview at Ain't It Cool News.
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