In a deliberate echo of Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), horror specialist Ti West, The Innkeepers (2011), offers us this set up: it’s 1979, and a vanful of attractive young people are road-tripping across Texas when they run afoul of the inhabitants of a remote farmhouse.
The wrinkle is that these all-American youngsters are out in the boondocks to shoot a porno movie. Wayne (Martin Henderson) is a strip club impresario who thinks that his young girlfriend and star performer, Maxine Minx (a typically fearless Mia Goth), has what it takes to bring in some of that Debbie Does Dallas money. Bobby-Lynne (Brittany Snow) is his hedonistic second lead. Jackson Hole (Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi) is his leading man, a Vietnam veteran who’s given himself over to pleasure after his time in the shit. RJ (Owen Campbell) is the writer and director, convinced he can make a porno with real narrative and thematic substance. Lorraine (Jenna Ortega) is his girlfriend and sound recordist, who is uncomfortable with the overt sexuality of the company.
These horny entrepreneurs decamp to a remote farm where they’ve rented the guest house to film their opus, The Farmer’s Daughters, but the old couple who own the joint are suspicious to the point of hostility, and … that’s all the plot that’s fit to print without getting into some fun surprises best left to the viewer to discover. Not twists, exactly, but choices and themes that emerge over the course of what is, for horror fans, an absolute treat: a funny, sexy, gory, and scary romp through the ’70s genre hinterlands that director West previously mined for 2009’s The House of the Devil.