It takes a special kind of movie to wear out its welcome when it's only a brisk 80 minutes long. Alas, Vacancy is that movie, a minimally-conceived, half-executed little stillbirth of a shocker that appears to have been devised to have enough scenes to make a cool-looking coming-attraction trailer, then pretty much called it quits.
If you saw that ubiquitous trailer, then you know the plot completely. An unhappy to-be-divorced California couple, Amy (Kate Beckinsale - anyone remember when she was promoted as the new Audrey Hepburn?) and David (Owen Wilson) on a awkward road trip, simmering with resentment and grieving a deceased son, unwisely leaves the interstate (well, driver David does; pill-popping Amy is out cold) and gets lost.
When their car breaks down they find shelter at the Pinewood Motel, a shabby, roach-ridden place whose gawky manager (Frank Whaley) claims to have no other guests. Yet the husband and wife are terrorized by violent banging on the wall. Then David finds a cache of VHS tapes with the handy in-room VCR that disclose their deadly dilemma; the inn is a death trap where overnighters get besieged, harassed and, finally, murdered, their agonies duly recorded on an array of hidden surveillance cameras and edited for "snuff" videotapes (that the Internet is never mentioned is one of the flick's few, very few, charms).
David and Amy fight for their lives - oh, and this situation turns out to be very healthy for their relationship, you'd want to know - against a skeleton team of face-painted marauders, and not very much of it is clever or entertaining, unless you want to count the mounting inconsistencies and question marks in the storyline. There's some gore, but probably not enough to sate the horror-fan sickies. There are a few twists, but probably not enough to sate thriller addicts. If you were waiting for any sort of trick ending, well, the trick is that there isn't any trick, so there.
Call this dim programmer Hostel 1.5 or maybe The Hills Have Eyes Part Two and Two Fifths. But the only Vacancy you'll remember is the one of 80 minutes of your life that could have been better spent elsewere.