One of the few, the very few, good things about this pandemic shutting down all the movie theaters for the summer is that smaller movies, independent films and such, that otherwise would have likely gotten overlooked are instead stepping up to fill the void left by the blockbusters. I’ve caught some incredible movies the past few months at the drive-in: RELIC. THE AERONAUTS. THE VAST OF NIGHT. THE OTHER LAMB. WRETCHED. FOLLOWED. Would these have made it onto my radar if not for the pandemic? I don’t know, but I’m sure glad they did. To this list can now be added THE RENTAL.
Imagine THE STRANGERS, only instead of the killers coming to your house, they trick you into coming to theirs. And the group of protagonists have some dirty little secrets that will become collective Achilles heels for them, capitalized on by the killer. That’s the gist of it. THE RENTAL may have you second-guessing ever staying at another weekend rental, in the way that JAWS had fans thinking twice, and three times, and four, etc. about getting back into the ocean. It’s a cracklin’ good little thriller. As for why I’m reviewing it here on a site dedicated to vampires instead of our sister site darkness.com, which is dedicated more to general Horror? Personal affectation. One of the characters, you see, is named Mina. So of course I spent the entire movie thinking about Dracula, and how amazing it would be if the unseen tormentor turned out to be him. Also the actress who portrayed Mina, Shelia Vand, was the star of the amazing modern vampire fable A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT. (I wonder if that had anything to do with her character being named “Mina”?)