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Film / Vacancy

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They might as well not even have that "No" part of the sign.

2007 horror thriller about a bickering couple, David and Amy (played by Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale), who are forced by circumstances to stop in a seedy motel. They find out the hotel owners make snuff movies with their guests as the "stars"/victims.

In 2008, a prequel titled Vacancy 2: The First Cut was released straight to video.

This movie contains examples of:

  • Ax-Crazy: The motel manager.
  • Big Bad: Mason, the motel manager. He's the mastermind behind the snuff movies and the one who came with the idea of using the motel as a Death Trap.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: The manager's obsession with getting a "perfect shot" on his camcorder leads him to throw Amy within arm's reach of the second revolver, enabling her to kill him once and for all.
  • Car Fu: Amy takes out the two masked killers this way.
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  • Chekhov's Gun: The second revolver. A slightly more subtle one is the cockroach that is seen disappearing under the bathroom rug - it is later revealed that there is a trapdoor under there.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Mason, when undergoing his Villainous Breakdown.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: Arguably the first twenty minutes. Subverted, since the two main characters not only survive the events of the movie, but also show more traits of their own personalities.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Amy manages to kill each one of the killers after David's apparent Heroic Sacrifice. She then finds out that her husband is still alive despite the many wounds.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Mason, who acts as an endearingly awkward manager underneath his Ax-Crazy self. He even keeps ups this persona after the couple discovers his snuff film scheme until when two of his Mooks are killed and Amy attempts to outsmart him lead to his mean-spirited and temperamental Villainous Breakdown.
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  • Final Girl: Amy. It's played straight in the sense that Amy was the only one left to confront the killers upon David's supposed death, and she has to kill each one on her own. However, David is revealed to be alive at the end despite his wounds so both main characters actually survive.
  • For the Evulz: Yes, they make money out of it, but the villains' main reason for shooting these films is pure, unadulterated fun.
  • Genre Savvy: David has many Genre Savvy moments - one of them being when he thinks to check behind the shower curtain in case one of the killers is lurking there. There's nobody there, but hey, no harm in checking.
  • Large Ham: Mason the manager.
  • My Car Hates Me: Justified, as the villains tamper with the vehicles to ensure that their victims can't drive away.
  • Obviously Evil: The motel manager.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Subverted: there are actually underground tunnels under the motel.
  • Police Are Useless: If a police station receives a call in the middle of the night from a clearly-panicked woman (which gets promptly cut off) and then they send a patrolman to investigate the site of the call, and he doesn't come back or even so much as radio in (because he's been killed, obviously)... well, then, shouldn't you maybe send more officers to find out what the hell's going on!?!?!?
  • Psycho for Hire: The men performing the murders are "actors" who make money off of the films they "perform" in, but primarily do it because they love to kill.
  • Serial Killer: Killers, to be precise.
  • Slasher Movie: The snuff films that the hotel manager develops seems to be inspired by this genre, featuring masked psychopaths that stalk and murder the guests and utilize Offscreen Teleportation (via a tunnel system). This, in turn, serves to make the actual movie very similar to other examples of a slasher film.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The motel manager suffers this at the climax, when he discovers two of his "actors" to be dead and goes into a Cluster F-Bomb when Amy attempts to outsmart him before resorting to ragingly gloating at Amy for trying to ruin his snuff filmmaking business and escape while attempting to film her death just when he thinks he manages to overpower her, before Amy uses a Groin Attack on him and finally blow him away with a revolver.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: It seems to be implied that Amy has a fear of rats.

The First Cut has examples of:

  • Auto Erotica: The asian newlyweds in early of the film try to have fun in their car in a remote location. They are then greeted by a man with shotgun, who tells them that they are on private property, which makes them to go to the Meadow Vew Inn next.
  • Man on Fire: Jessica sets the Serial Killer Smith, who inspired the whole Snuff Film racket to begin with, on fire. As he flails around in pain, she makes her way to escape.
  • Numbered Sequels: For a prequel, oddly.

Alternative Title(s): Vacancy 2 The First Cut