Entertainment Weekly - 04/27/2007
"[The characters'] squabbling is itchy and funny....Truly scary..." -- Grade: B
Total Film - 07/01/2007 3 stars out of 5 -- "The lean running time ensures a heart-thumping pace....Smith's snippy dialogue manages to flesh out characterization..."
Sight and Sound - 07/01/2007
"[T]here is no denying it -- it's scary. Antal clearly delights in terrorising us, relying on threat rather than outright gore."
Film Comment - 07/01/2007
"Lean and mean....[With] perfectly eerie sets, stark lighting, inventive camerawork, and jarring frights..."
Ultimate DVD - 12/01/2007 4 stars out of 5 -- "[An] intelligent thriller....Director Antal uses the well-worn traditions and conventions of the genre to mark out a genuinely scary movie."
This riveting thriller features Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale as a couple whose car breaks down, stranding them at a very dangerous hotel. Director Nimrod Antal carefully builds the suspense as the film gradually leads to horror when the hotel turns out to be a snuff film operation, with cameras everywhere and lots of truly horrific videos of past murders (shot in the same room) lying atop the TV set. The couple needs to think fast before they become the next victims.
Beckinsale and Wilson play down their star wattage and get truly involved in their change-of-pace roles, sucking the audience into their situation far deeper than one might think possible. Meticulous use of the tawdry, low-rent motel setting--lots of rotted wood, stained wallpaper, and ugly sofas--provides a realistic sense of space. Intelligently crafted and unfolding practically in real time, VACANCY is edge-of-the-seat all the way. Other strong points are the punchy score from Paul Haslinger, a PSYCHO-ish credit sequence, a creepy Frank Whaley as the hotel clerk, and lots of references to films like TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER. Thanks to all this care and attention, the scares linger longer than you might expect, so don't watch it alone.
Description by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment:
A suspenseful, classic thriller, in the tradition of Alfred Hitchcock, starring Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale, that will keep you on the edge of your seat and your heart pounding! When David (Luke Wilson) and Amy Fox's (Kate Beckinsale) car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, they are forced to spend the night at the only motel around, with only the TV to entertain them... until they discover that the low-budget slasher videos they find in their room were all filmed in the very room they're sitting in. With hidden cameras now aimed at them... trapping them in rooms, crawlspaces, underground tunnels... and filming their every move, David and Amy must struggle to get out alive before whomever is watching them can finish their latest masterpiece.