"Morality Tale Gets Lost in Unsatisfying B Thriller"
What You Need To Know:
THE RENTAL features talented acting, but it’s definitely a B thriller. So, it has a predictable, violent second half. Also, a serial killer gets away with his crimes, which makes for a downbeat, unsatisfying ending. As a result, the morality tale in THE RENTAL, about the dangers of bad character and illicit behavior, gets lost. THE RENTAL also contains lots of foul language, some drug abuse and one or two examples of extreme violence. The effect of all this negative content slips into the abhorrent category.
THE RENTAL is a suspense thriller about two young professional couples who rent a fancy house on one of California’s rocky coasts for the weekend, where they become suspicious that the caretaker is spying on them. THE RENTAL features talented actors in a B thriller, but, otherwise, the movie has a downbeat, predictable, violent second half with lots of strong foul language, some drug abuse, and themes of adultery, mass murder and justice denied.
The movie opens with a tech wizard named Charlie celebrating some new funding for his company with his business partner, Mina. Charlie spies an expensive rental house on the Internet and decides he’d like to spend a celebratory weekend there with his wife, Michelle. Charlie invites his younger brother, Josh, who’s actually been dating Mina.
That night, Charlie and Michelle discuss the positive influence Mina has had on Josh, who did a brief stint in jail for beating up a man outside a fraternity house in college. Josh is now a Lyft driver who’s been taking some night classes to resume his interrupted college career.
Driving down to the rental house, Mina and especially Josh are upset. Mina’s family is from Iran originally, and her last name is Mohamadi. When Mina called the rental’s booking agent, he turned her down, but an hour later, he accepted Charlie’s offer. Then, when they arrive at the rental house, the caretaker, a man named Taylor, asks Mina, “How’d you get mixed up with this family?” This makes Mina even angrier. So, she asks Taylor if he’s the one who books the guests for the house. He says he is, but his brother is the one who owns the house. Mina expresses her displeasure at being turned down, but Taylor refuses to discuss it any further with her. He tells Mina and the others they can cancel their reservations if they wish, but Charlie smooths things over, and Taylor leaves.
That night, Michelle says she’s too tired to party with the others, who’ve brought some Ecstasy drugs with them. Charlie, Josh and Mina start dancing, but Josh falls asleep later. So, Charlie and Mina enjoy the hot tub outside. They start to kiss, but Mina interrupts the amorous behavior, saying she better go to bed. Cut to Mina taking a shower when Charlie suddenly enters the shower and continues what they started in the hot tub.
The next morning, Mina regrets cheating on Josh, not to mention Michelle, Charlie’s wife. She tells Charlie they shouldn’t do it again. Even so, Mina and Charlie are too tired to go hiking with Josh and Michelle. While they’re gone, Mina starts taking another shower, when she discovers what looks like a tiny camera in the shower head. Mina and Charlie decide not to call the police, for fear of having their adulterous tryst the night before uncovered.
This proves to be a mistake, because the person who set up the camera also seems to be stalking them. Is it the caretaker, Tyler, Tyler’s brother, or someone else?
The actors in THE RENTAL include two relatively well-known actors, but this is definitely a B suspense thriller. So, THE RENTAL has a predictable, violent second half. Also, a serial killer gets away with his crimes, so the ending is downbeat and ultimately unsatisfying. As a result, the morality tale in THE RENTAL, about the dangers of bad character and illicit behavior, gets lost. THE RENTAL also contains lots of foul language, some drug abuse and one or two examples of extreme violence. The effect of all this negative content slips into the abhorrent category.