Dave Franco makes his feature-length writing and directing debut with The Rental. The film starts with Charlie (Dan Stevens) and Michelle (Alison Brie) booking a house tucked away in the woods for a nice little getaway. Joining the married couple are Charlie’s brother Josh (Jeremy Allen White) and his significant other Mina (Sheila Vand), who is also Charlie’s business partner.
While Taylor (Toby Huss), who is renting out the home, is a bit off-putting, especially for Mina, once settled in, the four friends are happy to be able to relax. After a walk along the nearby beach, they bust out the recreational drugs, though Michelle calls it an early night. After Josh also hits the hay, Charlie and Mina decide to get in the hot tub… and make out. Though they quickly stop, the next day, as Michelle and Josh go for a hike, the business associates get to know each other Biblical.
“Charlie and Mina discover cameras hidden all around the house, including the shower where they had sex.”
And just when it seems The Rental is going to be a romantic drama about a torrid affair that rips friends and families apart, it emerges as a full-blown thriller. Charlie and Mina discover cameras hidden all around the house, including the shower where they had sex. Now, they must find out who is watching them and why, while concealing the truth from their better halves.
There is much to enjoy about this atmospheric and moody motion picture, but there is one thing that some might not enjoy about the overall experience. The reason behind whoever is watching the two couples and what that unknown entity does with the recorded footage is never entirely divulged. For my money, that remaining mystery enhances the film, as it means anyone can be targeted at any time. That ups the intensity and realism, as people’s actions in real life don’t also have obvious intentions. But not providing clear cut motives may prove bothersome to a few viewers, as it could be interpreted as a lack of clarity on why these people in this house are being filmed.
"…Dave Franco makes his feature-length writing and directing debut..."