The trappings may look familiar, but "The Innkeepers" is a new twist on the old-fashioned ghost story: It's the bored-slacker horror movie.

Writer-director-editor Ti West sets his film at the historic Yankee Pedlar Inn (and shot it at the real hotel in Torrington, Conn.), which, for our purposes, has a history of hauntings and is on the verge of closing.

West takes his time and doesn't seem interested in cheap, loud, quick shocks; the approach pays off and generates real tension.

It's so low-key that it may actually be too languid in parts, but it's hard not to admire this rare sort of patience, as well as an interest in creating characters who feel like real human beings.

Sara Paxton and Pat Healy have an easy chemistry as Claire and Luke, the hotel's two remaining employees who are stuck minding the place over its final weekend. The slightly nerdy, wisecracking Luke is fascinated by the inn's supernatural past and is developing a website on the subject; tomboyish Claire doesn't have anything better to do and gets sucked into helping with his investigation.

Naturally, as they prowl the cavernous banquet room and the empty corridors, they start seeing and hearing things. And then there is the basement with its tortured history, which is simultaneously beckoning and foreboding. West depicts all of this in the leanest way possible, which evokes a retro sense of fear.