By: Anthony Zangrillo
Some movies are defined by their characters, some by their music scores, and some by their plots. The Caretaker is defined by its setting. Filmed at the Jane Hotel right here in New York in the Meatpacking District, the Jane provides the perfect atmosphere for a horror movie taking place at a temporary abode.
Attempting a hotel-horror film is an ambitious task, as any attempt will inevitably draw comparisons to the controversial classic, the Shining. While audiences should not be expecting the Shining, the Caretaker makes a respectable effort in living up to that iconic film, given the VR project’s low budget and lack of big stars.
As was stated before, what makes this movie a success is the setting. The Jane Hotel perfectly draws in viewers through an understated subtlety in allowing the mind to wander to what happens in the hotel after all the young professionals leave the bar for the night. The setting is dark and shabby, but not abundantly so. The hotel’s walls are adorned with provocative pictures and animal heads, but not to the point where it is over the top. You walk in and immediately think to yourself that you would never want to stay here, but you can’t articulate a good reason why not. This is of course the perfect balance so as to fill the film’s wayward travelers with a sense of dread, but not overbearing enough so that they don’t actually end up staying.
The Jane Hotel recently hosted the film’s after party following its Tribeca screening. The real treat of the night was experiencing the virtual reality film that had also been filmed right there in the Jane Hotel. As a horror fan, being able to experience the scares firsthand—both by walking around the hotel where the film’s main characters endured their torturous tribulations and through the virtual reality tour—with the much lower stakes of not actually being chased by a demonic moose or forced to marry at a satantic wedding was thoroughly enjoyable.
Go experience the movie, and if you live in New York (or next time you are visiting), go visit the horror hotel for yourself.