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Genre: Thriller
Starring: Agnes Bruckner, David Moscow, Scott G. Anderson, Arjay Smith, Trevor Wright
Director: Eric Bross
Rating: M18 (Violence & Sexual Scene)
Year Made: 2008




- Deleted scenes
- Caught on Tape: Behind the Scenes of Vacancy 2 featurette
- Behind the Facade: Constructing the Meadow View Inn" featurette
- Filmmakers and cast commentary



Languages: English/Thai/Spanish/Portuguese
Subtitles: English/Thai/Chinese/
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time: 1 hr 26 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Origin Entertainment




Experience the gruesome beginnings of Mr. Smith and his hotel of horrors in this terrifying prequel to Vacancy, starring Agnes Bruckner (Murder by Numbers). Suspecting only a night of hard beds and tacky décor, Caleb, his sexy new fiancée Jessica and his sarcastic best friend Tanner, check into the Meadow View Inn. They have no idea that it is not just another lonely motel, but a horrific trap where guests are brutally tortured and murdered while the sadistic maniac Mr. Smith and his greedy accomplices film the grisly slayings for profit. Caught in a deadly game or cat and mouse, the three young friends now must fight to survive.


The original Vacancy (2007) was an efficient low-budget exercise in tension, set entirely in an isolated motel where a young couple find themselves the next victims of a snuff film. And if you recall, the couple played by Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale managed to outwit and outlast the two killers at the end.

Instead of setting up a similar premise with a new set of copycat villains, Vacancy 2: The First Cut actually goes back in time to explore how a certain Mr Smith (played by Scott Anderson in both movies) came to be the killer that terrorized the dwellers in the first Vacancy. Contrary to what you would expect, this direct to DVD release actually ends up being just as effective as its earlier counterpart.

A big reason why it works is because writer Mark L. Smith (who also wrote the first Vacancy) spends time building up the story of how the killers came to be. So rather than just plunging head-on into the slasher scenes, we get a convincing yarn of how the two owners of Meadow View Inn, who already were using hidden cameras to make porn films out of their customers, stumble upon one sadistic Mr Smith.

In what could be a statement of our times, the two owners, Gordon (David Moscow) and Reece (Brian Klugman), realise from the dwindling profits they have been getting that the in-thing these days is not porn, but torture porn- hence the expediency of recruiting Mr Smith into their economic venture. And as you’d expect, the tension here is not just from their victims, but among the awkward alliance of the trio- Gordon, Reece and Smith.

But of course, if you’re just here to get more of the original Vacancy, there’s still plenty to satisfy you. The unfortunate roomers this time round are a young soon-to-be-married couple, Jessica (Agnes Bruckner) and Caleb (Trevor Wright), as well as Caleb’s wisecracking buddy Tanner (Arjay Smith). It takes a while to get to the thrills, but when it does, rest assured that it is just as gripping as the former.

Director Eric Bross does a surprisingly competent job of setting up the events in the movie, achieving a fine balance between the perspectives of the victims and that of the killers. And though the guerrilla-style hand-held camera technique has of late somewhat lost its novelty factor, he uses it effectively in this movie to racket up the suspense and make the fear and terror of the couple onscreen more immediate and real.

Indeed, Vacancy 2 makes up for what story the first Vacancy may have lacked by focusing not just on the victims, but also the killers and how they came to be. It also is more credible in how it does not confine its events to the motel itself. Don’t let the fact that this has no big-name cast fool you into thinking this is one of those horror only movies fit for the DVD junkyard- it is most certainly not, and I guarantee you if you enjoyed the first, you’ll enjoy this as well.


This Code 3 DVD comes with a lively commentary by no less than 5 people- director Eric Bross, producer Hal Lieberman, executive producer Brian Paschal, and cast members Agnes Bruckner and David Moscow.

There are also two Behind the Scenes Featurettes- the first Behind The Scenes of Vacancy 2 talks about the inspiration behind this prequel, and the second Constructing the Meadow View Inn tells of how production designer Stephen McCabe built the entire motel set on a parking lot in one of California’s national forests.

Lastly, there are also 3 Deleted Scenes that are seriously not worth your time.


Sharp visual transfer that retains nicely the colours and hues of the mostly dark settings in the movie. The Dolby 5.1 audio track also works efficiently to help build up the tension.



Review by Gabriel Chong


Other titles from Origin Entertainment:

. The Last Train

. Quarantine

. Center Stage: Turn It Up

. Street Fighter

. The House Bunny

. The Cook

. Step Brothers

. Open Season 2

. Anaconda 3: Offspring

. Hancock

. You Don't Mess With The Zohan

. Prom Night

. Casino Royale

. Redbelt

. Felon

. Tortured

. Penelope

. Hellboy Animated: Blood & Iron

. Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms

. Away From Her

. The Take

. Saawariya

. Black Book

. The Shepherd

. Conspiracy

. Cleaner

. Hero Wanted

. Shattered

. Breath

. Cashback

. Your Name Is Justine

. Death Sentence

. The Jane Austen Book Club

. Across The Universe

. The Triplets of Belleville

. The Ten Commandments

. CJ7

. Love Lies Bleeding

. Living Death

. La Vie En Rose

. Urban Justice

. Perfect Stranger

. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

. Reign Over Me

. Surf's Up

. 5ivegirls

. Vacancy

. Paprika

. Walking Tall: Lone Justice

. Dead Mary

. Spider-Man 3

. Priceless

. Trust the Man

. The Contractor

. Blood And Chocolate

. The Wicker Man

. Wind Chill

. Are We Done Yet?

. Android Apocalypse

. Elizabeth I

. The Proposition

. 3 Needles

. Ghost Rider

. The Pursuit of Happyness

. The Illusionist

. Catch & Release


This review is made possible with the kind support from Origin Entertainment


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