Welcome to another installment of 31 Days of Halloween! This is our chance to set the mood for the spookiest and scariest month of the year as we focus our attention on horror and Halloween fun. For the month of October we’ll be sharing various pieces of underappreciated scary books, comics, movies, and television to help keep you terrified and entertained all the way up to Halloween.
Night at the Eagle Inn has the perfect name for a Halloween movie. It sounds like it will either provide family friendly scares or just be a generic haunted house story. Perhaps surprisingly, the film is neither. Fans of good old fashioned spooky stories will appreciate this tale of a big scary hotel, things that can bump in the night, and deals that should not be made.
The film is about fraternal twins Sarah and Spencer Moss (Amelia Dudley and Taylor Turner) and their trip to the eponymous Vermont inn so they can try to piece together what happened to their father. Once there, they discover secrets about a past they never expected. Will they be able to escape before dawn or are they doomed to be trapped in a hellish labyrinth?
Night at the Eagle Inn does a great job of hitting all the correct beats. The cold open takes place at a horror movie standard: the creepy general store. The plot never slows down and treats horror fans to everything they have come to expect. There are televisions that work even when they are not plugged in, chairs that move by themselves, and a strange innkeeper.
It should be too derivative to be any good, and yet it all comes together seamlessly. The cast is small and each one does a great job. Dudley and Turner are uncanny as the twin siblings looking for closure. Early in Night at the Eagle Inn they try to complete each other’s sentences and have a neat symbiosis. They are not always correct, but that adds to the idea that something is a little off.
Greg Schweers is amazing as The Night Manager. Part freaky hotel managed, part strange townie, the character is an homage to over the top 1980s horror movies. He is excellent as the one character who may or may not be the cause of what is going on, but everyone feels it is better not to have around either way. There are some scenes in which various characters dial it up a little too much, but there is nothing that ruins the film.
The story itself is something that would be a hit at a Halloween sleepover. There is no wasted motion during Night at the Eagle Inn culminating in a satisfying reveal. These types of stories are not seen near as much as they used to be and it was refreshing twist. Director Erik Bloomquist has put together a film that should be on everyone’s spooky season movie list.
Night at the Eagle Inn comes to select theaters and VOD November 2
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