film reel image

film reel image

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The Owners 2020 * * 1/2 Stars


"Very well, if that's what you want". What I "wanted" was to see 2020's unforeseen The Owners. What can I say, it really got me enthused. Then it got me thinking it was a little contrived.

Anywho, "Owners" is something else (I'm not sure if that's always a good thing). It starts out as a despairing home invasion thriller only to become a psychological horror flick and a damaging one at that. Sans any civil characters, its diegesis involves four desperate thieves who decide to break into an old English abode. They get more than they bargain for when the keepers of said abode are even more messed up than the four offenders robbing them.   

The Owners is well cast with equally young and elderly actors. They effectively blur the lines between restraint, sheer madness, and sheer lack of self-control. The real star however, is probably the London Victorian mansion where "Owners" was filmed. It comes off as drab, cold, and dusty, a sort of never-ending labyrinth where cockroaches and silverfish love to hang out at. 

So yeah, The Owners is directed by Frenchman Julius Berg. A veteran of TV, this is his first feature film and it's a fervent, mixed mess. Using one location (when one location was probably all that was needed), Berg pushes the twisty envelope by giving us something adjacent to a Twilight Zone episode that might have been helmed by Eli Roth. Heck, you could even compare "Owners" to stuff like Don't Breathe, Straw Dogs, Saw, or The Shining

Bottom line: "Owners" is violent, blood-soaked, frustrating, and belligerently creepy (look for the closing credits which are done in reverse). As an ode to all things horror mumbo jumbo, it leaves you scratching your head as to how much more nastily polished it could've been. To each their "own". 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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