The Rental (2020) Movie Review
Written By: JASR
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Dave Franco
Producers: Dave Franco, Elizabeth Haggard, et. al.
Writers: Dave Franco, Joe Swanberg, Mike Demski
Date Released: July 24, 2020 (USA)
Dan Stevens as Charlie
Alison Brie as Michelle
Sheila Vand as Mina
Jeremy Allen White as Josh
Toby Huss as Taylor
Anthony Molinari as the man
Rating = 2.5/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
The Rental (2020) follows two couples – Charlie (Dan Stevens) and Michelle (Alison Brie), Josh (Jeremy Allen White) and Mina (Sheila Vand). The four of them decide to rent a seaside house for the weekend. Upon their arrival, they meet Taylor (Toby Huss), the brother of the property owner. The four guests, especially Mina, find Taylor’s actions quite questionable – but they start having fun at the property anyway. The next day, when Mina discovers a camera in the showerhead, she wants to tell the police – but Charlie insists that they don’t because of something they did the night before. With their knowledge about the camera, Charlie and Mina become extra cautious in the house, but other things still happen beyond their control.
Blood is definitely not absent in this movie, but it’s not excessive either. Gory scenes only happen at necessary events – specifically during attacks. One good thing about this movie’s bloody scenes is that even though there aren’t that many, they still make you flinch – a factor that gore lovers would likely appreciate.
The Grave Review
I think it’s common for vacationers to feel some kind of paranoia when renting a private home. I myself have felt paranoid in the past, even though there wasn’t any reason to. Watching The Rental reminded me of the terrifying things that I think of possibly happening when renting a home – a mean owner or caretaker, a hidden camera, an eavesdropper, to name a few.
I can tell that a lot of thought was put into this movie because it didn’t leave key details behind. The sexual tension between Charlie and Mina, who came with their respective partners, was an added flavor to the story. Usually, when a little romance or even an affair is added to a movie, viewers would say it is too forced and unnecessary. In this film, however, the affair of the two characters is just what the movie needed to add conflict and flavor to the whole film.
The discovery of the camera, for example, would have easily led to them telling the police if they didn’t have a secret of their own. This easy way out would have led to the movie ending just like that. However, since their affair makes things more complicated, they couldn’t tell the police – adding more events to the movie and giving us a more exciting story. Their refusal to call the police is properly justified, and it isn’t just one of those typical “Why didn’t you just call the police?” moments for the audience because the characters have a reason not to.
I also loved the performance of the actors. Even though they’ve been seen in other productions, they were still able to make the viewers see them as their characters – not as actors playing the parts. They were particularly remarkable in how they make scenes escalate. Once things escalate, they escalate quickly.
While the movie is enjoyable to watch, I think the ending could have been better. The movie ended with so many questions in my head, particularly about the intentions and motives of the antagonist. I guess I was expecting an ending that would make me gasp, instead of something that would make me say, “Oh, okay.”
Nonetheless, the movie is still fun to watch and might even make you more paranoid about renting. It is still undoubtedly well executed.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives The Rental (2020) two and a half graves out of five graves.
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