Saturday, July 25, 2020

The Rental Review: A Tension-Filled Weekend Excursion

Release date: July 24, 2020
Running time: 88 minutes
Starring: Dan Stevens, Alison Brie, Sheila Vand

Two couples rent a vacation home for what should be a celebratory weekend get-away.  When brothers Charlie (Stevens) and Josh (Jeremy Allen White), along with Charlie's wife Michelle (Brie) and Charlie's business partner / Josh's girlfriend Mina (Vand) decide to take a weekend trip away, they hope for a relaxing weekend by the lake.  However, what starts off as a fun weekend quickly turns unsettling and gets worse from there. 

The Rental is slow to start but that is not necessarily a bad thing.  The movie takes a while to establish the characters, their weekend, and the creepy situations that start to build their sense of unease.  It doesn't do it overtly at first, but eventually it gives you glimpses into the fact that these vacationers are being watched.  A normal scene will suddenly cut to a creepy observation scene, then back to a normal enough scenario.  When the film wants to be unsettling, however, it does a good job.  The film builds these creepy scenes to be as unsettling as possible: the music changes, the camera angle changes, and a heavy breathing is audible.  And although the story takes a long time to develop, it layers on enough secrets over secrets to keep giving new information to the audience.  The story has enough twists and turns when the it finally does develop that it keeps the movie interesting and moving along.  And the cast of the film are enjoyable to watch.  They are distinctly different in personality and motivations.  They get along well but have enough of their own issues to keep it from being a perfectly tranquil weekend.  And outside of the main group, it was great to see one of my favorites from Carnivale, Toby Huss, again even if it was for a limited role.  

However, the problem with The Rental is that although it takes a very long time to set up, the resolution of the film happens very quickly.  Once the action gets going, it is over relatively quickly.  The film does so much to get everything in place for the action to happen, that I wish it would have spent some more time in that mode.  It almost feels like once that happens, the movie is over.  And the film is a relatively compact 88 minutes long, so it feels like there definitely could have been additional tension and more time spent after the initial build up.  Additionally, although I liked the characters, I wish that they had been given a chance to stretch their acting chops.  With the speed at which the resolution happens, you don't get to see them in very many situations.  But if you give this movie a chance, you'll at least have an enjoyable rental for the night.  

The Rental has a lot of story development but does not overstay its welcome, with good characters, a creepy motif, and a story that layers secrets on secrets.  

Rent it.
For additional information about the film and to rent / buy it, check it out at the links below.
This site contains affiliate links. //Commerce or this site may be compensated when you click through links on our site.

No comments:

Post a Comment