By Jordan Gerdes
DISCLAIMER: I was provided an advanced copy of this film for review. I was under no obligations by any party to provide favorable reviews, promotion, or anything else. I was offered no monetary compensation for my work. Everything below is of my own accord.
Pasidg Productions and Uncork’d Entertainment’s “Room For Rent” starring Lin Shaye should be a home run on paper. Lin Shaye (Insidious) as a lonely widow, starts an AirBnB and rents a room to a handsome drifter after the death of her husband. She quickly becomes enamored with him, her obsession turning from harmless to dangerous as time goes on. It’s a thrilling premise, that
mirrors, at it’s best moments, Misery and Fatal Attraction. It is suspenseful. It is extremely creepy at times. But there are missteps where the film itself falls flat.
Lin Shaye is the best part of this movie, and she is a tremendous actress with a long line of awesome credits. The way she plays the character of Joyce leads the viewer to emotionally attach to her. You begin to feel sorry for her. You empathize with her loneliness. She plays the role in such a way that makes her both harmless and frail, until she is suddenly threatening and dangerous. It’s a fantastic character trait that really adds to her backstory. The rest of the cast provides decent supporting roles, though some feel a bit off.
The script itself is entertaining, although the third act takes a few leaps that I thought might be a bit out of reach for the plot. The dialogue could have used some work at certain points, namely conversational scenes, but it wasn’t enough to take me out of the film as a viewer. The budget definitely feels a bit constrained here, and a larger budget may have given them more room to really polish this film. The cinematography was good for the most part as well, with only one shot in particular that confused me.
There were two scenes in particular that I thought were so insanely funny when they weren’t intended to, that I will refrain from spoiling because they are fucking fantastic. All in all, I enjoyed this movie for what it was. Without knowing much about the director, I know that Tommy Stovall won a Bram Stoker award for a previous screenplay, so I am excited to see what he can do with a larger budget down the road.
Room For Rent is at it’s best when it mimics Misery meets Fatal Attraction, in an AirBnb. I would recommend it for a watch, if only to see Lin Shaye’s performance. She continues to be a shining star in the horror genre, and Room For Rent is no exception.
Room For Rent opens May 3rd in select theaters and releases May 7th on digital platforms.
Official Synopsis : Lonely widow Joyce rents out a room to make easy money. She meets mysterious drifter Bob and takes him in as a long-term tenant. She becomes obsessed with her much younger guest, making him the object of her deepest romantic fantasies. When a friend’s betrayal derails Joyce’s fantasy world, she seizes control of her own destiny with a deadly mission to finally get what she deserves.