The Rental is a horror thriller film directed by Dave Franco. The premise seems two couples head to a rental house for the weekend, once they get there they notice that it is the Air BnB from Hell and things quickly escalate.
Now, I had mixed feelings on this one. I thought for what it was trying to achieve and for a first-time directional effort it was good, but in a lot of other ways It was critically let down.
I thought the actual story itself was well done and well executed, it was tense and it used that tension well throughout. What I didn’t like however, was how blatant it was in its homage. This film feels like Franco is trying to make a Hitchcock film, there are several sections that seem directly inspired, I didn’t enjoy that. Mimicking the classics does not make your film a classic.
The characters are also a mixed bag. On the one hand you have Alison Brie as Michelle, the nice person of the group, she is likable and should really be the hero of the story; however she is unceremoniously killed off. The other 3 main characters are differing degrees of bad people and their unpleasant actions make it very hard to sympathise with them.
One more thing that bugged me about this film was the weird racism subplot from the start of the film. It plays into character motivations eventually and gets better over time, but at the start of the film it did not fit at all and felt forced and clunky. Trying too hard to be relevant.
A solid first effort
Uses tension well
It feels like a poor imitation of one of Hitchcock’s lesser works
The racism subplot at the start of the film does not feel natural
Reviewed by Luke