Aren't weekend getaways a blast? They're especially fun when they have dangerous secrets, hidden cameras, a hot tub, and dead bodies. Actor Dave Franco, mostly known for light-hearted comedy and action films like The Disaster Artist (2017) and Now You See Me (2013), has his feature-length directorial debut with The Rental currently playing in select movie theaters throughout Utah after its nationwide release on July 24th.
Two happy couples rent a glamorous cliffside home together for a weekend vacation in the Pacific Northwest. But wait. The owner of the house is weird! And the crawl space under the house has a locked door! These omens set off mounting suspicions of voyeurism, betrayal, and murder with very few people getting out alive.
The Rental has a few moments of slightly interesting emotional drama, and some effective jump scares, but all that slowly gives way to the mindless bloody killings of a Friday the 13th-esque slasher. Nothing in this film is explored or heightened enough to make it interesting (not even the murder scenes). And a film with only a cosmetic surface to explore is a film with nowhere to go and nowhere to take its audience.
Uncomfortably resting in the vein of other slasher films like The Strangers (2008) or You're Next (2011), The Rental doesn't offer anything original, well written, or inventive except an efficiently edited epilogue. But by the time the epilogue happens, it's too late to grab any viewer's attention.