Netflix Horror Mystery Thriller With An All-Star Cast Will Disturb Everyone

By Robert Scucci | Published

I’ve never been a fan of the whole Airbnb thing. If I’m throwing down my hard-earned cash to go on vacation, I don’t want to be up-charged by some overbearing property owner because they didn’t like how I touched the thermostat. I’ve also heard a bunch of horror stories from my friends about how they thought they were being recorded with a hidden camera while trying to have an unforgettable weekend. The Rental takes the idea of an overbearing property owner and makes it so believable that you’ll probably start booking hotel rooms again instead of looking for a remote cabin in the middle of nowhere.

The Rental

The Rental starts out like your typical “cabin in the woods” kind of horror flick but attempts to offer so much more because its tension doesn’t just come from some unknown outside source of terror but also the pair of couples (and their dog) who party just a little too hard during their stay.

When husband and wife, Charlie (Dan Stevens) and Michelle (Alison Brie), decide to bring Charlie’s brother, Josh (Jeremy Allen White), and his girlfriend, Mina (Sheila Vand), along for a weekend getaway, they’re immediately rubbed the wrong way by Taylor (Toby Huss), the property owner.

Taylor is one of those suspicious property owners who show up at inopportune moments, suggesting he’s keeping a close eye on his tenants during their weekend stay. Mina has reason to believe that Taylor will be an unwelcome presence because he enters the rental property to deliver a telescope so they can look at the stars while the group isn’t present.

Getaway Turned Nightmare

After partying while indulging in recreational drugs, Charlie and Mina have a romantic rendezvous in the shower, which they immediately regret. The next morning, after swearing they’ll never engage in such an unfaithful activity again, we learn what’s truly at stake in The Rental. Mina discovers that there are cameras hidden in the shower heads, and Charlie decides that it’s best if they find and destroy the footage before Michelle and Josh find out.

Josh, on the other hand, is distracted because his dog, Reggie, goes missing on the second day. Josh, who is so hotheaded that he was once in prison for his violent tendencies, plans to confront Taylor because the rental property has a strict no pet policy, and he suspects foul play. Mina also has her own plans to confront Taylor about the cameras, which results in a violent altercation between Taylor and Josh, who is unaware of Mina’s one-night stand with Charlie.

Unable to trust each other, the group of friends gets more than they bargained for in The Rental.

A Must-Watch For Fans Of The Bear

The Rental is an effective horror thriller that will make you think twice about whether booking a place with a hot tub for a weekend getaway is a good idea. If you’re a fan of The Bear, you’ll appreciate Jeremy Allen White’s ability to convincingly portray a man on the verge of a nervous breakdown when tensions run high. Though he later masters the craft of epically melting down in the award-winning FX on Hulu series, his innate ability to convey such raw emotions at the drop of a hat is evident in this film.

A Sequel?

jeremy allen white

But still, The Rental is a film that somehow doesn’t feel whole when you sum up all of the parts that should, in theory, make this an excellent film. While there is a considerable amount of tension throughout its tight 88-minute runtime, I felt like writer and director Dave Franco had the intention of starting a new franchise without first seeing if his directorial debut was a suitable proof of concept in the first place. Given how open-ended the film’s conclusion is, I smell a sequel in the works, but nothing has been officially announced as of yet.

That is to say, if The Rental turns out to be a stand-alone film, you may find yourself wishing there was a little more to it than what it ultimately offers.

Streaming On Netflix

alison brie


Despite its shortcomings, The Rental (streaming on Netflix) is well-acted and has great production values. It’s just not enough to make it the memorable film that I wanted it to be. If a potential sequel picks up where it left off, I may have to reassess my feelings, but for now, I’m left wondering how much better this movie could have been if it fully explored its setting and characters.