• R, 1 hr. 26 min.
  • Horror
  • Directed By:    Eric Bross
  • In Theaters:    Jan 7, 2009 Wide
  • On DVD:    Jan 20, 2009
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Vacancy 2: The First Cut Reviews

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TheDudeLebowski65 TheDudeLebowski65
Super Reviewer
½ June 10, 2010
Vacancy was a fine return to the classic Horror genre with tension and suspense and terrific pacing throughout the film. With this prequel, the filmmakers strip away whatever was good with the original and try to come up with something new. Ultimately it's a failure and it doesn't do the original justice. What made the first film so good was the strong performances by Beckinsale and Wilson. But with The First Cut, we get a totally new cast of pathetic actors who are more annoying than talented. The film tries to do something new, but it fails. If you've loved the first film, you don't need to watch this. It's basically the same film, with a less than talented cast and a smaller budget. A terrible film.
3niR 3niR
Super Reviewer
January 25, 2010
I liked the first one.
Roy G
Super Reviewer
October 14, 2009
While this film is true to its predecessor, it does have a distinct direct-to-DVD feel to it.
Dean !
Super Reviewer
½ February 15, 2009
A fairly good prequel to the original with one of the killers from the first starring in this. It's pretty straight forward and not as intense as the first but if you liked the first film you should enjoy this. This also stars Agnes Bruckner from The Grudge 2, Venom and Blood & Chocolate.
_kelly .
Super Reviewer
½ January 26, 2009
I kind of can't believe I watched the whole thing, but that's a testament to the editor I suppose. Even though the script, acting, score, shots, and kills are terrible the piece is well paced and watchable. So much less thrilling than the first, and reused plenty of tricks.

I didn't believe that's how this idea got started (with the captured killer proposing it to the motel attendants) and the ending doesn't tie to the first movie (this is a prequel). This is meant to depict the first "Vacancy" victims, and the first mistake is to pick a younger and less interesting bunch. These victim characters are flat, and all the attempts at fleshing out the killers fail as well. I would have rathered the honeymoon couple in the opening segment be used as the first victims; as it could be used to contrast the victims of the first movie (married for some time and considering divorce). I would have rathered an story with echoing character components than a clumsy directionless story with echoing scare devices.
Jacob P
Super Reviewer
June 8, 2011
Just as great as the first.
Erin C
Super Reviewer
January 24, 2009
Just as creepy as the first one. I liked the first one a little better, only because Kate Beckinsale was in it. This one was still good though.
Laurence C
Super Reviewer
June 29, 2009
Remember the 2007 spring chiller Vacancy? Yes-- that one with Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale. You don't? Oh, it's pretty okay, since no one really remembers it anyway. Not that a whole lot of people saw it : grossing just under 20M$ during its theatrical run (it opened just after the Virginia Tech shooting-- nobody wanted to be entertained by violent killings), it garnered better-than-average reviews but the public's enthusiasm was mixed at best. It was, all in all, a surprisingly competent but empty-headed suspenser; the kind of mediocrity that delivers on drowsy cable-watching nights but wouldn't make most viewers truly satisfied had they paid for it, let alone put their ass in a theater seat in front of it. I think that those that have seen it can agree on that : as creepy as it was, Vacancy was just so damn thin, down the line. Anyway, it looks like somebody thought it would be a pretty neat idea to cap that flick with a prequel.

Hah.

Okay, I can admit the grisly, ambiguous but definitely eerie setup of Nimrod Antal's film is the kind of stuff that, if handled well, can be fleshed out a bit without losing its mystery. And since the straight-to-video market in the horror/thriller genre obtained a reasonable boost lately, there would be no risk of producing a new low-budget entry in the series. But seriously... a prequel to Vacancy? And now, enter I, young cinephile : me played Vacancy 2 thinking it'd be just another run-of-the-mill STV cash-grab... well, color me surprised. Vacancy 2 : The First Cut is actually pretty decent, and for all of its nonsense and near pointlessness... I actually found it slightly superior to the original.

So, what is it that works unusually well here? Well, for starters, it has to be because this setup is EXACTLY the kind of premise that does wonders on a small scale film. With no big marquee names, a reliance on hand-held cameras, murky cinematography and completely anonymous sets, Vacancy 2 rings true almost from start to finish. It doesn't look 'cheap'; it looks exactly like a real life story in that setting would appear. It's not so much about ''horror'' as much as it is about ''suspense'' : even if the script sets up many opportunities for them, the big ''boo!'' shocks are very rare, indeed-- the tension, though, is this close to being uninterrupted. We are given all the pieces necessary to know just enough about what's happening and almost enough to predict what's next-- but not quite. This distinct unpredictability and cleverness in the way important details are shown to us render the film experience thoroughly gripping, and it's something I can say a direct-to-video sequel never achieved for me.

Even better : the characters, while not particularly interesting or well-developped, behave like intelligent and ressourceful people (...FOR ONCE!). It is exciting to watch them try to survive, because a great majority of their actions & reaction are actually convincing. It also helps that the dialogue isn't crap at all and that the performers are uniformly good, but the REAL surprise here is that Vacancy 2 gives almost equal coverage to the victims and their persecuters-- something that I've been waiting for in the genre for a long, long time. Regarding the villains, let me say that director Eric Bross takes full advantage of all the B-movie cliches he can foreshadow, only to dodge them in sometimes weird, sometimes forceful upturns. And for a film that concentrates on the victims' immense torment and panic, you would consequently expect a real bloodbath, right? Well, not here. Vacancy 2 is violent and dangerous, but not gory and graphic. That's refreshing in an era known for its endless string of silly though hard-to-watch torture pornos.

Of course, it's not devoid of all the flaws you could normally stick on productions like this one. It is fairly hollow and routine in its broadest sketches. To some, it could only come across as tasteless exploitation, and the horrifying twists the story pins on us could appear more needlessly cruel than diverting. Even if it handles all the 'prequelling material' quite skillfully, there are elements that don't add up with its predecessor, let alone with its screenplay's first act. Also, despite its unnerving climax, it ends on a finale that really, really makes fuck-all sense.

But you know what? As far as cat-and-mouse games go, I can say I haven't seen one done with that many good elements since last year's The Strangers. It's not a particularly good movie, but it is a successful pulse-pounder, and for that, I can say Vacancy 2 truly caught me off guard. I kept waiting for the moment where something would really suck, and that moment did come, but it was very, very late in the game. Late enough so that I can call it a worthy rental for genre fans and those that enjoy a good fright alike.
John2223 John2223
Super Reviewer
½ November 23, 2008
The killers were not scary or intimidating though, it was more violent than the first one.
The movie had some enjoyable moments but donīt expect too much. The script is weak, the acting decent and the ending is a little lame.
Paul A June 14, 2012
Vacancy should have ended after the first one... The first half of this movie was ok and it was intense and building up a story. but after the half way mark where they begin dying it just got boring, and the fact the girl actually managed to get away was stupid. This movie should have been darker and grittier but it went for a soft predictable ending. The Bad people in this went from tough to weak, First half of the movie they're tough as hell, 2nd half they aren't..
not realistic at all..... , and the death scenes weren't creative they were just bland and dull....
Horrors are supposed to scare you, and make you cringe... This did none of them.
blizzpirate blizzpirate
Super Reviewer
June 5, 2011
Vacancy should have ended after the first one... The first half of this movie was ok and it was intense and building up a story. but after the half way mark where they begin dying it just got boring, and the fact the girl actually managed to get away was stupid. This movie should have been darker and grittier but it went for a soft predictable ending. The Bad people in this went from tough to weak, First half of the movie they're tough as hell, 2nd half they aren't..
not realistic at all..... , and the death scenes weren't creative they were just bland and dull....
Horrors are supposed to scare you, and make you cringe... This did none of them.
DJ J November 13, 2010
Vacancy 2 was a decent watch, and in my opinion it's better to see it first before part one because its a prequel. It's pretty much along the same lines as part one, but they show you how everything gets started. Although this wasn't the best movie, the acting from the 3 victims in this movie is so convincing and sincere. It makes you feel like you are them in the exact situation. But on the other hand, the acting from the 4 villains is not as great, but overall it was pretty well done.
vbronk vbronk January 5, 2010
i like how they show the first movie and the first killings. i wonder how in the first movie who r those guys because if they die thats stupid. that got me confused.
Ken D
Super Reviewer
½ October 18, 2009
This was a very bland horror movie. I had a hard time paying attention to what the characters were doing because I was getting bored. It had a little interest as to see how this all developed over the history of the hotel and the killer, but this was a waste of time just like the first vacancy, which was also kind of bland. Thsi could have been done so much better.
Mike D ½ September 12, 2009
Lacked the suspense and scares of the first, and obviously without the star power. Not terrible though, and provides a reason for the original; although I'm not sure anyone asked for one.
ladollyvitaxo ladollyvitaxo August 17, 2009
I was skeptical about watching Vacancy 2 without seeing the original Vacancy first. I hate watching sequels before the originals for fear of not knowing what's going on. (Horror sagas small and large are known for their pertinency.) I was in luck because this was a prequel! I still don't know how much it explained/set up since I never saw the first one.
brian19692005 brian19692005 March 7, 2009
The beginning of the Vacancy film...different people than in the first ...still not a bad horror flick
Jamie O ½ October 24, 2013
These direct to dvd films are putting the big budget films to shame .
Rawballs B ½ June 10, 2013
A sufficient prequel with an enough direction and acting to make you say 'nice' and 'okay'...
Brandon B December 26, 2012
Besides being a better than average direct-to-DVD sequel; Vacancy 2: The First Cut, though creepy, it is brought down by horror cliches, poor acting and a bad ending which make the first Vacancy film a much more superior film.
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