Last year I flipped for Kontroll, the debut film from Hungarian filmmaker Nimrod Antal (my review is here), and I’ve been waiting for his follow-up. It turns out that ol’ Nimrod is going to be traveling to the USA for his next film, a thriller called Vacancy, starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Luke Wilson.
In the film the duo play a couple who check into a motel, where they soon discover they’re being surreptitiously recorded as the prelude to their starring role in a snuff film. Hidden surveillance is hot right now, what with our lives no longer being private as a byproduct of the Wars on Terror and Crime, and snuff films are always pretty cool. The only thing that bugs me about this film’s premise is that Sarah Jessica Parker will likely not be getting snuffed, since she’s the lead.
What’s really interesting about snuff films is how they’ve moved from the area of mythology to reality. There’s recently been a "snuff" film in the news, where a couple raped and murdered a woman on video. There have been other "snuff" films in the news in the last few years – amateur filmmaker Johnny Zhivago videotaped the murder of his girlfriend and his own suicide, while Daniel Pearl’s beheading has been an internet favorite. But are these really snuff films? Technically, no – a snuff film would be a movie that has someone being actually killed that is intended to be distributed for money. That would make The Twilight Zone one of the few legit snuff movies.
Vacancy is being made for Screen Gems, which means that it will not be shown to critics when it comes out. It’s written by first-timer Mark L Smith, who is much, much less cool than Mark E Smith. Sorry, buddy.