"Vacancy" was one of those surprise films that was able to ably tread a line between modern and old school Horror with solid acting and a more than vicious vision of directing. It's not surprising that a sequel wasn't too far away. And by sequel I mean prequel since the ending of the first film pretty much ended the concept. Thusly we have "Vacancy 2: The First Cut" which, just as you would assume, isn't at all near as good as the original even though it does try.
Meadow View Inn is a nice place to rest...IN PEACE. The two owners/runners of this little out in the middle of fucking nowhere motel have a good scheme going to keep up their cash flow. They tape their patrons having sex and sell it. That is until they meet a new guy who kills a girl right on video. Partnering up with this new killer, they set up a plan to kill people on tape for more profit. Which sucks for our three heroes, a moving married couple and friend, whom happen to be the first ones in this new little experiment.
So what works and what doesn't with our new franchise entry? Well, the pacing certainly is something to admire. Its a film that will definitely keep you hooked and going despite some of the major flaws. It also has a decent enough cast, our three killers are far more interesting than our three protagonists though and the film seems to focus on them far more than even the victims, which also hurts the film since one isn't sure who to root for and care about. The pacing is solid enough and the story is fairly interesting especially if you have seen the first film (finding out how the concept came to fruition is enough story I guess to carry the film even if its somewhat lackluster by the end).
What the film lacks is that stillness and tension that the first one so awesomely kept. This feels far more like modern Horror flick that only touches on the tension and suspense that it should have and could have easily used to its advantage. Some awful logic jumps in the story also hinder it. How quickly some characters go down and how easily the girl is able to go about taking out her chasers is sometimes a bit forehead slapping (a gun in the water doesn't work in real life!). This one also tends to rip off the original too much in some of its details. The owners of the motel, although different characters, are too similar for example. Its as if it couldn't find the right ways to reference the first one without just knocking it off.
"Vacancy 2" is your average sequel that doesn't actually add a whole lot to the franchise but rarely hurts how the first one is perceived. It has solid pacing and some solid acting here and there, but just fails to carry the tension and logistical realism of the original. Not a bad sequel, but far from good.
BONUS RANT: If you are going to put a "2" in the title then it better be a sequel. Storywise, this is a damn prequel so why the hell did they throw a "2" in the title?! Call it, "Vacancy: First Cut" instead of getting one to think that it's actually a follow up to the original when its an origin story. If its a sequel then call it "2", otherwise leave that shit out guys!
Written By Matt Reifschneider
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