The Rental just belatedly reached Netflix's Top 10 list, and horror fans are loving it. The film premiered in July of 2020, but it never quite got the mainstream attention it deserved. Thanks to an inexplicable swing into the trending list on Netflix, you can now watch it for yourself.
The Rental is Dave Franco's feature directorial debut, which he co-wrote with Joe Swanberg and Mike Demski. It is a horror-thriller about a group of friends who rent a vacation home in a remote seaside area to get away and party. They are put off by the property manager and soon discover some frightening things hidden in the house. The movie is fast-paced at just 88 minutes long and has generally positive reviews.
The Rental stars Franco's real-life wife Alison Brie along with Dan Stevens, Sheila Vand and Jeremy Allen White. Toby Huss plays the property manager, Taylor, and only a few other actors appear in the movie at all. The small ensemble adds to the tension and unease of the whole movie.
At the time of this writing, The Rental has 74 percent positive ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, with 197 professional reviews accounted for. It has a much lower score of 44 percent among the general audience, although that rating may climb now that the movie is back in the popular zeitgeist. The critical consensus reads: "Some tricky genre juggling makes The Rental a bit of a fixer-upper, but effective chills and a solid cast make this a fine destination for horror fans."
Sadly, The Rental is yet another movie whose trajectory was derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The movie was announced in March 2019 and began filming the following month. It took just over a month to film and was completed at the end of May 2019, but by the time post-production was done the pandemic would make distribution extremely difficult.
IFC Films acquired the distribution rights to The Rental in April 2020. It was unable to get a widespread theatrical release, but it was played in some theaters where possible. There was also a socially-distanced premiere at the Vineland Drive-In Theater in City of Industry, California in June. The following month, it premiered straight to streaming-video-on-demand digital stores.
Now that the movie is on a subscription-based streaming service, it's an easy sell for new viewers to check out. You can stream The Rental on Netflix now.