*Won’t be spoiling any twists
Two couples on an oceanside getaway grow suspicious that the host of their seemingly perfect rental house may be spying on them. Before long, what should have been a celebratory weekend trip turns into something far more sinister.
Air BnB is a business that has become wildly popular over the last few years. It makes it easy to go on a vacation and stay somewhere you feel comfortable instead of a hotel. Well it was only a matter of time until someone imagined a nightmare scenario for this situation. Is that Dave Franco’s music?
Dave Franco, an actor I much enjoy, decided to change it up and direct this genre subverting horror movie. It is an interesting choice to say the least for his debut, but I think it is ambitious as hell. It also helps to have Joe Swanberg help write the script because he knows a thing or two about launching careers (see Greta Gerwig, see Lena Dunham etc..)
The Rental tells the story of two couples on a weekend vacation, where they decide to rent out an AirBnB. After some domestic issues between the couples we get a classic slasher movie that will at lest make me rethink opening the AirBnB app for my next trip (when quarantine is over of course). I do think what makes this movie different though is that it moves at a much different pace then most horror movies, and makes choices to subvert the genre a bit.
I think that genre subversion is key, because horror can get bogged down in clichés and tropes that we have seen hundreds of time. So when things do not go how you would expect them too it helps keep you on your toes. But even with all that subversion it still comes back to ridiculous drug use, a faceless killer, and decisions by characters that make you want to scream at the screen.
Stock Neutral – Alison Brie
One of my favorite working actresses and of course she is there for her husbands Directorial Debut. I thought she did a great job as Michelle, and really balanced trying to be a good wife, with all the different horror elements. She can really do it all and I love where her career is at right now.
Stock Up – Dave Franco
It seems like he wanted to follow in his brothers footsteps and move seamlessly to directing and that is exactly what he did. While it may not be a perfect debut, it shows enough skill that I have confidence whatever he does next will be interesting. In recent interviews he said him and Allison finished a Rom-Com script for her to star in, so I am excited to see that whenever it comes.
Stock Neutral – Dan Stevens
We just talked about him in Eurovision which was a scene stealing performance. This was much more reserved but still showed why he is one of the hottest actors on the market right now. I think he has a very bright future if he continues on this path.
*A couple other tidbits
- The End Credits are an awesome touch to close out the movie.
- The score was on point throughout the whole story.
- You can really tell the impact Joe Swanberg had on the script with all the domestic and relationship issues throughout the movie.
- The Bro Scene was phenomenal.
The Rental is not a masterpiece by any stretch but I think it is a great first step in Franco’s Directorial career. There is some really good humor along with well made horror. I just think the pacing could have been a bit better, and the payoff for the slasher aspect could have felt a little better.
*You can find my 2020 Rankings here.
*You can find all of my Movie Ratings here.
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