Sommerleigh Pollonais – Horror Head Writer
The Rental ironically, might be the perfect name for this movie, as this was more of a “one and done”, than an instant “must have in my collection”, for me.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Two couples rent a vacation home for what should be a celebratory weekend get-away and things go wrong.
The good stuff first. The Rental has most of the ingredients needed to make a solid “stalker thriller,” and to its credit, a lot of what you get makes for an entertaining movie, albeit a forgettable one.
The film has a talented cast of actors and they all bring their A-games to the roles including Allison Brie (Horse Girl/Glow), who has the ability to immerse herself into any character she plays, and this is always a pleasure to watch, and Dan Stevens, who’s no slouch in this regard either. The man has played hero (Downtown Abbey), villain (The Guest) and all the weird stuff in between (Legion anyone?).
Director Dave Franco (that would be the little brother of James) definitely has talent behind the lens as he manages to take a small budget and make a great looking film that utilises its one location to the fullest. Throw in some nice wide shots, a retro color pallet and some eerie music, and you’ve got yourself a good looking movie folks.
But while I’ll give this movie props for the acting and the visual appeal, the screenplay (also co-written by Dave Franco) just doesn’t have enough meat on its bones to make this movie worth watching more than once. It also doesn’t leave the kind of impact a tale like this one should. Ironically while watching The Rental my mind would drift off to films that handled this premise more effectively. The Strangers, Vacancy, Shallow Grave. All of these movies were much better at wringing out the tension and delivering the thrills.
The Rental also suffers from poor pacing taking way too much time to “develop” the characters and not enough time building up that much needed sense of foreboding danger. This is something I see in small budget horror films all too often and it takes a deft hand to balance the two in a way that feels satisfying to watch (check out Netflix’s Hush to see this done right).
So…I wouldn’t call The Rental a total waste, and I will say it’s a promising start for Dave Franco. And with a little bit more time and experience with this genre, I think he just might be on the right track.
Rating: 5.5 out of 10
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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