Eye For Film >> Movies >> Night At The Eagle Inn (2021) Film Review
Night At The Eagle Inn
Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode
There’s a closeness between Sarah (Amelia Dudley) and Spencer (Taylor Turner) which goes beyond the fact that they’re twins. It is not, despite the manager’s suggestion, incestuous – the closest they get to that is occasionally flirting with the same men – but rather it stems from the fact that they have never had any other family. As far as they’ve been able to find out, their mother died from complications of childbirth. Their father disappeared. They grew up in the foster care system but seem to have coped pretty well. Now they’re taking a road trip to the Eagle Inn, where they were born, to try and find out more about their origins.
The trip is particularly exciting for Spencer because he’s a big fan of supernatural stories and his research has informed him that several people are said to have gone missing there. When the twins arrive, it seems ordinary enough. The manager (Greg Schweers) is a bit of an oddball, but that happens with people who live in out-of-the-way, lonely places. Spencer is instantly taken with handyman Dean (Beau Minniear). There doesn’t seem to be another soul around.
Naturally, if you’re a fan of horror films, you won’t be expecting the twins to spend a relaxing night in their badly decorated room and then leave fresh and early the next room. Sure, the initial problems they encounter seem commonplace. The television doesn’t work. There’s barely any choice of drinks at the bar. The manager bugs them persistently, offering various services But then the television starts to show strange, flickering images of what appear to be other guests, the drinks start to make Spencer feel very sleepy, and the manager... well, you’ll see for yourself.
The central story here isn’t new but this is one of the better cinematic takes on it. both leads are strong and director Erik Bloomquist does a lot with their interesting faces, playing with the colour tones and lighting options offered by a place which looks like it’s still stuck in the Seventies. Schweers struggles with the uneasy balance between horror and comedy in his role and is a bit too quirky to carry the necessary weight of his role. Minniear, however, exhibits impressive confidence for a young actor still relatively new to the screen, and restores some gravity to proceedings.
The horror here is of the psychological or spiritual variety, aiming to disturb rather than shock. Elements of nightmare or hallucination contribute to a sense of instability and it quickly becomes apparent that nothing at the Eagle Inn can be taken for granted. Bloomquist efficiently creates a sense of repetition without boring viewers, whilst the location is naturally suited to feelings of claustrophobia. A couple of shot choices consciously recall The Shining but he’s wise enough not to overdo it. The inn has a personality of its own.
Whilst it doesn’t achieve anything amazing, this is a solid little horror tale perfectly suited to watching when the nights are drawing in.Reviewed on: 28 Oct 2021