Two couples, Michelle (Alison Brie) and Charlie (Dan Stevens) and Josh (Jeremy Allen White) and Mina (Sheila Vand) are spending the weekend away together in a rental by the sea. However, when they meet the owner of the rental, Taylor (Toby Huss) they start to get a sense that he may not be as welcoming as he could have been.
Charlie and Mina are business partners, working closely together, they are not only great friends, but they have a great working relationship and rely on each other heavily to get through their work. Once settled, they start to enjoy the evening, but as the influences of their good time takes effect, things happen that cannot be taken back so easily.
The Rental is a slow burn horror and directorial debut from Dave Franco who also co-wrote the screenplay. The setting for the film may not be all that original (four friends going to an isolated house has been done to death) but the performances of the cast keep it compelling as their fleshed-out relationships keep the audience wondering where the story will go next.
It just may take a little longer to get there than some audiences may prefer. Thankfully though, the director and cast (including Franco’s wife, Alison Brie) don’t indulge too much in their performances so much as to distract from the plot.
As the film does finally get to the point and for some the direction may not be all that surprising, there’s still enough to go on as far as what’s going to happen between the couples, whether the owner’s as corrupt as he appears and who exactly may be watching them.
Unfortunately, as the film goes into its final act it does veer into very familiar horror territory, which may delight some, but may also put others off as they may have been expecting something more unexpected. Also, the person who is really watching them is as generic as they come.
Whereas with some villains the little the audiences know about them the better, in this case it just feels like the villain’s motivations weren’t all that well thought out.
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