The Rental parents guide

The Rental Parent Guide

This definitely isn't family fare - you can't exactly make a movie about sexual misadventure and murder for a general audience.

Overall D

Digital on Demand: Renting an AirBNB is always a risky proposition - but Michelle and Charlie are facing bigger problems than bed bugs.

Release date July 24, 2020

Violence D
Sexual Content C-
Profanity D
Substance Use D

Why is The Rental rated R? The MPAA rated The Rental R

Run Time: 88 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Looking for a fun weekend getaway, two couples book a rental house on the scenic Oregon coast. Charlie (Dan Stevens) and his wife Michelle (Alison Brie), along with Charlie’s brother Josh (Jeremy Allen White) and Josh’s girlfriend (and Charlie’s business partner) Mina (Sheila Vand) are stunned by the natural beauty and the comforts of the home. But the man managing the property, Taylor (Toby Huss), is strange, with behavior that goes beyond typical creepiness and veers into racism and perversion. Unwilling to sacrifice their weekend, the renters soldier on, determined to have a good time if it kills them. Which it increasingly seems as though it might…

I was very pleasantly surprised by The Rental. Not that I have anything against director, producer, and screenwriter Dave Franco, but these kinds of horror movies usually drag on far too long with characters about as fun as damp cardboard. This one is different: the characters are a little more developed and the brisk 88 minute runtime means that there isn’t time to waste. Moreover, actor’s passion projects are very hit-and-miss. It’s refreshing to see it go so well.

The Rental is a classic slasher – think Friday the 13th or Evil Dead. The premise is identical: attractive young people out to have a “good time”, with a rapidly deteriorating situation leading to gruesome murder. It’s a fun recipe, in a dark kind of way, for horror fans. And it works well here, especially because the cast is so talented. It’s not a complex story, but they tell it well. Don’t expect the kind of character development you’d see in a more atmospheric horror (say, The Lodge), but not everything needs to be two hours of drawn out tension either.

But, like Friday the 13th, this is hardly family fare. It’s hard to make a movie about sexual misadventure and murder appropriate for children, so it’s not exactly surprising that this comes in at a well-deserved “R” from the MPAA. The sex and violence are actually much more restrained than the early horror flicks this film was inspired by, but the profanity is much more prolific to compensate.

It’s always nice to get a little surprise like this – I see a lot of movies, and I don’t hold out much hope for most of them. But The Rental is a fast-paced, high-drama dose of classic summer horror fun, and I’m glad it showed up. I sure wouldn’t watch it with my grandmother, but if you’re an adult fan of the genre with a tolerance for blood and gore, this is a pleasant little offering. Pleasant being a relative term of course – it certainly isn’t what I’d call an “uplifting” movie. Unless you count at least one of the jump scares lifting me clean up off my seat. Then it’s definitely uplifting.

Directed by Dave Franco. Starring Allison Brie, Dan Stevens, and Sheila Vand. Running time: 88 minutes. Theatrical release July 24, 2020. Updated

Watch the trailer for The Rental

The Rental
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Rental rated R? The Rental is rated R by the MPAA

Violence: Several individuals are killed, typically beaten to death with a hammer. One of these is a close up in which the claw hammer is shown puncturing a skull. An individual is severely beaten and then smothered to death. A body is thrown from a cliff and then hit with rocks to move it.
Sexual Content: There is an adulterous sex scene which is recorded and shown several times later, although no explicit nudity is seen.
Profanity: There are 62 uses of extreme profanity and 18 uses of scatological curses. There is occasional use of mild profanity and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Individuals are depicted taking MDMA and drinking alcohol in copious amounts, and are shown as intoxicated and high.

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