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The Rental - Film Review

The Rental (2020)

Director – Dave Franco

Starring – Alison Brie, Jeremy Allen White, Dan Stevens and Sheila Vand

The Rental comes from first-time director, Dave Franco, who is better known for starring in Now You See Me film series. Franco is credited as co-writer alongside Joe Swanberg. Having been given a substantial budget for his first attempt behind the camera, l was intrigued to see if he would be worth his weight in gold.

The focus of the film is set on two couples who decide to rent out a beach house for a relaxing weekend getaway. However, as the story progresses, their chilled-out vacation turns into a chilling nightmare. Realisation soon sets in that they are being watched through hidden cameras by a mysterious figure lurking in the shadows. As the film progresses, the main characters' darkest secrets slowly start to surface.

In terms of visuals, this film is beautifully done. The camera angles used were on point as was the acting of the lead cast. The story on the other hand was a bit of a let-down. The Rental had the potential to be a fantastic horror film but it unfortunately lacked a key element - the aspect of horror. With a running time of 1 hour and 28 minutes, it was only the last 20 minutes or so that it felt like a horror/slasher flick. Much of the film was like watching a melodrama about two couples and their relationship hurdles. Written with a generic plot and having seen this concept play out so many times before, the film doesn't add anything special to the horror narrative. There is no real motive and the ending felt very rushed and unfocused. This could have been a great return to the traditional slasher genre, but it lacked an anecdote which was such a disappointment. I feel like this was made by someone who doesn't have any empathy for his characters and lacks the knowledge of how horror movies should work. Even with the great "twist" at the end, I was left wondering out loud, ‘Is this it?’.

If you like movies that show outstanding visuals, great camerawork and just like to enjoy that type of scenery, then I’d say give it a watch. The story though is basic and has unfortunately been done countless times before.

That is why I’m giving The Rental a 6/10

Reviewed by Lynsey McLaughlin for Hellhound

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