When it comes to movies in general, and reviewing movies in particular, I love it when I'm caught completely off guard by a flick. No idea about the story going in, no clue as to how it will play out, and then being blown away by what a good time I had.
The Rental is one such movie, and flicks like it are few and far between.
On the one hand, this is a relationship drama about two couples who rent a vacation home for the weekend hoping to have a really good time, but instead have all their dirty laundry exposed... and I'm not talking the clothing kind. On the other hand, this is an intense horror movie about far more sinister things going on inside the home.
In less capable hands, The Rental would've been a mess. But first-time director Dave Franco ratchets everything up to eleven, and does so with such artistic flare that those who like horror movies should appreciate how good it is, and the arty crowd should be drawn in by the fine acting, tight storytelling, and killer -- literally -- last act.
I usually hate characters like the ones portrayed here, but Alison Brie, Dan Stevens, Jeremy Allen White, and Sheila Vand are so good, and give their roles depth. Brie's Michelle is actually the only innocent one of the group, and I genuinely felt bad about what she goes through. The rest do get what they have coming to them (spoiler alert) but they were more than cardboard cutouts.
As for the ending, best let you give it a watch. This one is a Good, and well worth your time.