the rental movie

Dave Franco is ready to jump into directing with The Rental, a horror movie he co-wrote with Joe Swanberg (Drinking Buddies). Alison Brie (who is also Franco’s wife) and Dan Stevens will star in the story of a vacation gone terribly wrong. There’s not much more information on the film beyond that, but the fact that Franco wants to kick off his directorial career with a horror movie is promising.

Deadline broke the news about Dave Franco directing The Rental movie. The film is described as a “character-driven horror thriller about two couples who rent a vacation home for what should be a celebratory weekend get-away.” Worth noting that this is also the plot – at least partially – of Jordan Peele’s upcoming Us, which has a family heading to a beach house to get away with some friends. I’m sure Franco’s film will end up being much different, though. And the “vacation getaway gone wrong” is an age old staple in the horror genre.

The Rental will be fully financed by Black Bear pictures. Regarding the project, Franco said he “couldn’t be more excited about partnering with Black Bear and to be working with such an amazing group of actors for my directorial debut.”

Horror is a popular genre for filmmakers to get their start, because it’s one of the few genres that’s easily malleable. You can finesse and mold your horror story to include elements of several other genres, while ultimately remaining a horror story. Franco never struck me as a horror fan, but I also never realized Jordan Peele was such a fan of the genre until Get Out came out and blew me away. Now Peele has Us arriving this month and The Twilight Zone arriving next month, and has confirmed himself to be an expert of the genre via interviews and more. Can Franco follow a similar path? Or is he just cutting his teeth on horror before moving on to a different genre?

The casting for The Rental so far is solid. Brie is accomplished in her work, and I’m always up for more of her. Stevens is good, too, although I don’t think he’s managed to find a film role that fully exploits his talents since starring in The Guest. Perhaps The Rental will do the trick. Filming is expected to start in April.

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