By Naomi Roper
Sarah and Spencer Moss (Amelia Dudley and Taylor Turner) are fraternal twins plagued by a mystery. Their parents were last seen at the Eagle Inn shortly before their mother gave birth to them. The twins were found, their parents were not. On a mission to find out what happened to their parents Sarah & Spencer pay a visit to the Eagle Inn. It’s a run-down dilapidated motel off the beaten track run by a very unusual motel manager (Greg Schweers). With no other guests in sight and only the handyman Dean (Beau Minniear) for company Sarah and Spencer get increasingly creeped out. With the Inn affecting Sarah physically as well as mentally will the twins survive the night?
At a tight 70 minutes, Night at the Eagle Inn is like a forgotten episode of The Twilight Zone. It’s The Innkeepers meets Scooby-Doo – all slow-burn atmospheric horror and stone-cold dread meets haunted house style daring-do shenanigans. Writers Erik and Carson Bloomquist (Erik Bloomquist also directs) keep things moving swiftly enough that you never get a chance to draw breath. The tone switches from seriously scary to comic hijinks in the blink of an eye. Parts of the film really are very unsettling indeed and yet two seconds later Spencer is flirting with Dean (understandable) and they’re embarking on a caper to retrieve an item that will help them avoid mortal peril.
The small cast is exceptionally committed and are really very good. Turner is charming and fabulous as Spencer while Dudley is sensitive and sweet and tortured as Sarah. Both play off each other beautifully. Schweers absolutely runs off with the film with his portrayal of the Inn manager. He’s terrifying and odd and hilarious and so so so unsettling all at once. His voice (a choice for the role) is very particular and somehow perfectly suits this odd relic of a man running a failing motel that the world left behind. When he smiles and offers “all the amenities” you want to scream at the twins to run! It’s a huge performance and yet entirely in keeping with the rest of the film.
Rounding out the cast is Beau Minniear who is charming and delightful and goes on quite the character journey!
Night at the Eagle Inn is a fun silly ghost train of a movie. Playing out like a discovered episode of The Twilight Zone and shot during the pandemic it’s a testament to how killer filmmaking can be achieved with a game committed cast and a solid script. My only critique – I couldn’t help but wish it had been filmed in black and white. Really lean into that vibe.
Night at the Eagle Inn had its UK premiere at Grimmfest and is set for a VOD release in US and Canada soon.