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The Rental – Movie Review
July 20, 2022
Synopsis: Two couples rent a vacation home for what should be a celebratory weekend get-away.

Director: Dave Franco

Stars: Dan Stevens, Alison Brie, Sheila Vand, Jeremy Allen White

I sincerely feel there are movies that will make you question how you approach everyday life. Did you want to go out in the water right after seeing Jaws? Stay in the remote cottage after seeing The Strangers? The Rental is an entertaining film that you should stop on when you are scrolling by it.

It is directed by Dave Franco, in his directorial debut. It stars his wife, Alison Brie, Da Stevens, Sheila Vand and Jeremy Allen White.

They play two couples, Charlie and Michelle (Stevens and Brie) are married and Mina and Josh (Vand and White) are dating. Charlie and Mina run a business together and the four of them decide they need to getaway and decide to book and Airbnb in a secluded area.

Immediately I was drawn to this film as it reminded me of a film I would see during the Midnight programme in a film festival. You know something is going to happen but you aren’t sure what.

Our two couples head to the cottage where they are immediately met with a unique character, Taylor, who rented the cottage to them/ Specifically, he rented it to Charlie, because when Mina, who is Muslim, attempted to rent it, she was denied, presumably because of her Muslim-sounding name,

With the cloud of racism in the air, Mina is already uncomfortable staying there. As the evening goes on her feelings give way to having fun and enjoying the night.

The night includes some drinking and some other substances and when the morning hits, we see the story is developing nicely. The couples have booked an Airbnb and they start to realize that things are off and the reviews that this property have received may not be warranted.

Franco and Joe Swanberg have written a script that develops very nicely over the 90 minute timeframe. Nothing about this film feels rushed and Franco takes time to adequately develop the characters. White’s Josh is presented as someone with anger issues and a past of having a hard time with dealing with it and I found his portrayal was delivered well. While I found the ensemble was strong it was his performance that I found the most compelling.

Overall, this is a good film. I don’t know that is breaks and barriers but does it have to? The film plays out well on screen and I was engaged from beginning to end.  Am I rushing to book and Airbnb after seeing this? Probably not, but I don’t know how anxious I was to before the movie.

The Rental is a good thriller and for his directorial debut, Franco should feel proud.

Grade: B-

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