I remembered seeing The Rental being in the theater last year, but never got around to seeing it. I didn’t know much about it other than it was a horror movie that was directed by Dave Franco. It was also Dave Franco’s directorial debut. I’m surprised I haven’t heard all that much about The Rental aside from it being a bit slow. When it does get going it does it incredibly well.
The Rental was Dave Franco’s directorial debut, which is the only thing I knew about it going in. I was surprised when I saw that it was written by Joe Swanberg and Dave Franco. The story was by Mike Demski as well as Swanberg and Franco. The inclusion of Joe Swanberg in the creative team of the movie was a pleasant surprise. Dave Franco can direct the hell out of horror. If he gives it another chance, which I hope he does, maybe he’ll direct something closer to a standard horror movie. The cast is basically centered on the quartet of Dan Stevens, Alison Brie, Sheila Vand, and Jeremy Allen White. The only other person in the cast is Toby Huss. The dog is played by the goodest boy named Chunk.
The plot centers on the quartet of Charlie, Mina, Michelle, and Josh. They are two different couples connected multiple ways. Charlie and Josh are brothers. Josh and Mina are dating. Charlie and Michelle are married. Charlie and Mina are business partners. The movie starts with Charlie and Mina looking at a rental house to go to celebrate a major business deal. Josh brings his dog Reggie, which is against the rules of the rental house. They are met at the house by Taylor and there’s immediate friction with Mina but the group tries to not let it affect their vacation. The first night there everyone but Michelle takes some MDMA and just kind of party.
I’m going to start spoilers now so if you want to not be spoiled you can go to the last paragraph. Josh ends up passing out and Charlie and Mina end up hooking up in the shower after a kiss in the hot tub. The next morning Charlie and Mina feel rough and stay behind while Josh and Michelle go on a hike. On the hike Josh inadvertently causes some issues between Michelle and Charlie. Mina finds a camera in the shower after she takes a shower. She rushes around and finds one in the shower that she and Charlie hooked up in. While they try to figure out what to do Josh and Michelle come back from the hike. That night Michelle ends up taking MDMA by herself after the others decide not to after the previous night. The rest try to find Reggie after he gets off his leash. Michelle calls Taylor while the others are out so that he can fix the hot tub. Josh confronts Taylor about Reggie, and he says that he didn’t take Reggie. As Taylor is about to leave Mina talks to him which leads to her confronting him about the camera in the shower. Taylor denies knowing about it and Mina threatens him and they struggle after Taylor says something about calling the cops. Josh sees this and attacks Taylor thinking that he was attacking Mina. This leads to everyone losing their minds. While they decide what to do a gloved hand smothers Taylor. Everyone but Michelle decides to get rid of Taylor’s body after discovering that he’s dead. While they’re getting rid of the body Michelle is left in the house. She discovers a TV playing the shower sex that Mina and Charlie had the previous night. She ends up leaving as the other come back. A tire pops and she wrecks. As she texts Charlie she is attacked. Charlie receives two texts and goes to check on his wife. Charlie discovers Michelle’s body and is attacked in the woods. After some looking around Josh eventually gets weird texts from Charlie and then attacked and killed by a masked man. The masked man chases after Mina and she falls off a cliff after a short chase in the fog. The masked man cleans up the evidence and goes on to a different rental property to repeat what he did.
The production design is really good. The rental house looks incredibly fancy and the area around it is beautiful. The costumes look good. The masked man looks incredibly creepy.
The Rental is an incredibly slow burn of a movie. That being said it is really well made and outside of a couple of scenes where everything was fogged up, I don’t really have many complaints. If you want a slow burn you should check out The Rental. I watched it on Showtime Anytime. You can get it physically or through your digital storefront of preference.