Review: ‘ The Rental’ Exceeds Expectations

The Rental

Dan Stevens as “Charlie,” Sheila Vand as “Mina,” and Jeremy Allen White as “Josh” in Dave Franco’s THE RENTAL. Courtesy of IFC Films. An IFC Films Release.

The Rental is a lean tension-filled fest that’s cleverly constructed and well shot. Perhaps the biggest shock is that this quality film has all the earmarks of an experienced director, but Dave Franco has never directed a movie until now. Franco’s direction and writing style were a dose of originality in a genre that, at times, is too reliant on tropes. While The Rental takes a modern approach to the genre, there are still hints of influences from many horror classics. However, Dave Franco and Joel Swanberg’s writing can only do so much; the ensemble’s strength is what makes this film soar. 

The Rental
Alison Brie as “Michelle” in Dave Franco’s THE RENTAL. Courtesy of IFC Films. An IFC Films Release.

The film is based on two couples who are looking to celebrate after starting a new business. They embark on a weekend getaway to a house they’ve booked online. What begins as an innocent trip morphs into something far more sinister rather rapidly. The Rental stars Dan Stevens, Alison Brie, Shelia Vand, and Jeremy Allen.  

The Rental

Alison Brie is the biggest standout in the film. Her character starts as someone unassuming, but we quickly realize that she’s the only moral individual. Dan Stevens’s character is undoubtedly the opposite of most any role he’s ever taken on. The dynamic between those two brought a spark to the film. 

Franco’s narrative was super creative in how they went about capturing the tensest moments in the film. Instead of shooting something direct, he made use of security camera footage. The transitions between shots were seamless. The result was getting a different vantage point of the impending carnage. 

Overall, The Rental is a terrifyingly good time. 

'The Rental'
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