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The Rental - Death at the Beach House - Blu-ray

The Rental - Death at the Beach House - Blu-ray

USA 2020 - with Dan Stevens, Alison Brie, Sheila Vand, Jeremy Allen White ...

The Frankfurt-Tipp rating - Movie:

Movie info

Original title:The Rental
Genre:Drama, Thriller
Direction:Dave Franco
Sales launch:11.05.2021
Production country:USA 2020
Running time:Approx. 88 min.
Rated:From 16 years
Number of discs:1
Languages:German (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), English (DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0)
Subtitles:Deutsch, Englisch
Picture format:16:9 (2,39:1) 1080p24
Bonus:Behind-the-scenes, trailer, program tips
Region code:B
Label:Pandastorm Pictures
Amazon Link : The Rental - Death at the Beach House - Blu-ray

Movie: Just a relaxing weekend at a secluded beachfront mansion is what couples Charlie (Dan Stevens) and Michelle (Alison Brie), and Mina (Sheila Vand) and Josh (Jeremy Allen White) envisioned when they rented the spiffy cottage online. When tensions arise with the strange landlord (Toby Huss) upon arrival, the joy of the short trip is already diminished a bit. But the weekend really spins out of control when Mina finds a hidden camera in the shower. Are they being watched the whole time? The tension caused by this discovery could spell doom for both couples, as the cameras have recorded something that two of the friends are determined to keep secret. But those aren't the only problems the four city slickers will have to deal with over the next few hours....

"The Rental - Death at the Beach House" is the directorial debut of actor Dave Franco, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Joe Swanberg. The premise of the thriller drama is that we are very concerned about safety, but have no problem traveling to the private homes and apartments of complete strangers for a cheap vacation. We simply trust that we are safe in the domiciles offered on various platforms. This is exactly where the film comes in. However, it doesn't start out like a thriller, but more like a relationship drama. As such, the film struggles with the problem that the four main characters can't really be called sympathetic. Thus, the conflicts of the four that arise here in the course of the story leave you relatively cold.

The film can at least partially make up for this with its atmosphere and visuals. Even if the dramaturgy can't really grab you, there is still a certain tension that reaches its peak in the last 15 minutes. And here we come to the most courageous but at the same time for many viewers also most problematic decision Franco made for his production. Most thrillers are about answering the questions of who (is the perpetrator), why (did he/she commit the crime(s)) and how (did he/she go about it). Without wanting to spoil too much, it must be said that Franco only answers one of these three questions. The rest is left open.

For me, this worked well, as it kept the basic ominous atmosphere from being ruined by unsatisfying answers. But I can also well understand if others are frustrated or annoyed that important questions are left unanswered. Overall, "The Rental - Death at the Beach House" is a rather quiet thriller-drama that shifts into the horror genre towards the end, at which point real suspense builds. Not a masterpiece, but a promising directorial debut that deserves a "Worth Watching" with minor deductions!

Image + Sound: The Blu-ray's image captures the story's mood very well with a high level of detail and a slightly undercooked color scheme. Contrasts are well-matched, which is positively noticeable in the darker moments. The German audio, available as a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix, is fairly restrained but pleases with some atmospheric background noise before the surround channels also come into play more towards the end. Good!

Extras: Bonus features include a brief behind-the-scenes look (approx. 5:18 min.) consisting of short interviews, as well as the English trailer and more program tips.

Conclusion: "The Rental - Death at the Beach House" is a rather quiet thriller drama that picks up speed towards the end, sprinkling some horror elements into the proceedings. The production of Dave Franco succeeds quite well in absorbing dramaturgical weaknesses. But at the latest at the finale, the spirits are guaranteed to part. The Blu-ray is technically on a good level, the bonus material, however, is a little meager with a length of less than 10 minutes. All in all with small restrictions quite recommendable!

An article by Frankfurt-Tipp


  • The Rental - Death at the Beach House - Blu-ray
  • The Rental - Death at the Beach House - Blu-ray
  • The Rental - Death at the Beach House - Blu-ray
  • The Rental - Death at the Beach House - Blu-ray
  • The Rental - Death at the Beach House - Blu-ray
  • The Rental - Death at the Beach House - Blu-ray