Perhaps Dave Franco is better known for his comedy roles in films like Neighbors (2014), 21 Jump Street (2012), The Disaster Artist (2017) or Unfinished Business (2015), but he has also been taking part in fantasy, horror and thriller films like Now You See Me (2013), 6 Underground (2019) and Fright Night (2011). So, for some, it could be not so much of a surprise that he chose a genre like horror to debut as a writer and director of a feature film.
The Rental (2020) tells the story of two couples on a lakeside getaway who grow suspicious that the host of their seemingly perfect rental house may be spying on them. Before long, what should have been a celebratory weekend trip turns into something far more sinister, as well-kept secrets are exposed and the four old friends come to see each other in a whole new light.
The movie is starred by Alison Brie, who this year is also releasing the fantasy thriller Horse Girl (2020) and vengeance crime Promising Young Woman (2020), Sheila Vand, better know for her already cult classic role in A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014), Dan Stevens, Jeremy Allen White, Anthony Molinari, and Toby Huss. Dave Franco has been the author of the screenplay, together with Joe Swanberg, also the writer of Drinking Buddies (2013) and Silver Bullets (2011).
The Rental (2020) is already completed and will come out via IFC Films. It has been scheduled for a release on demand on July 24, 2020. Director Dave Franco has stated “I’ve been wanting to direct a feature for a long time. As a viewer, there’s nothing I love more than a smart thriller. In writing and directing The Rental (2020), I was inspired by films like Rosemary’s Baby (1968), Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011), and Hereditary (2018), all of which elevate the genre beyond cheap jump scares. As a first time director, I obviously wanted to surround myself with really talented people, but it was equally important to me that everyone was friendly and going to work their asses off. I was fortunate to have incredible creative collaborators in a phenomenal cast and crew who brought it all to life beyond anything I could have imagined”. The film was produced and financed by Black Bear Pictures. Franco, Elizabeth Haggard, Teddy Schwarzman, Ben Stillman, Swanberg, and Christopher Storer are the producers, and Michael Heimler and Sean Durkin are the executive producers.
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