“Sit down Mary, drink your tea” – The Owners (Film Review)

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Based on the graphic novel “Une Nuit De Pleine Lune” (A Full Moon Night) by Yves H and Hermann, The Owners is a quirky twist on the home invasion movie. The French graphic novel being transplanted to the English countryside.

Three young men decide to break into the house of an upper-class doctor and his wife to see what they can steal, they drag along one of their girlfriends, Mary (Maisie Williams), primarily because they want to use her car.

The three men, Nathan (Ian Kenny), Terry (Andrew Ellis) and Gaz (Jake Curran), believe that Richard (Sylvester McCoy) and Ellen Huggins (Rita Tushingham) have a fortune stashed in the safe in their cellar. As they can’t break in due to a complete lack of competent planning, they decide to wait for the Huggins to return home so they can force them to hand over the code. Not before they spend a few hours trashing the place, smoking Huggin’s cigars and drinking his booze. Far from being a gentile old doctor and his wife though, this couple is more than meets the eye.

Set in the 90s The Owners boasts a bunch of period features, crop tops, an H reg Micra, old mobile phones, tracksuits, and silver eyeshadow aplenty. The time doesn’t really seem pertinent though, as it has little to no bearing on the plot. I expect we’ll see more of this in coming years though, as the nostalgia train slowly slides from the 80s into the 90s.

McCoy and Tushingham have fun as the… let’s say “challenging” victims of this film. The invaders themselves are mostly lacklustre, with the best performance coming from Jake Curran as Gaz, as he manages to be sickeningly depraved in the steps he will take to get what he wants. Maisie Williams does well but isn’t given an enormous amount of scope to show her strength or the fight she had in Game of Thrones which is a shame. There are gory moments, which will please the horror fans, though some punches are pulled at times when they could have really gone for it. Andrew Ellis’s Terry is mostly an annoyance, and Ian Kerry’s Nathan is a wimp.

The horrors happening against an idyllic countryside backdrop are fun, but nothing we haven’t seen before. The score by Paul Frazer and Vincent Welch fairly effortlessly amps up the tension when it needs to, probably being the best take home from the film overall, and Julius Berg makes some interesting directorial choices when he wants to add to the claustrophobia. It will be inevitably compared to Fede Alvarez’s Don’t Breathe (2016) but this doesn’t jump the shark quite so much in the second half. It feels more consistent, even if it is more silly than scary.

The Owners is a fun bit of fluff to watch on a Friday night, doesn’t outstay its welcome, isn’t boring, and will go fairly well with your takeaway. Don’t expect any more than that and you’ll have fun with it.

Dir: Julius Berg

Scr: Mathieu Gompel, Julius Berg, Geoff Cox

Cast: Maisie Williams, Sylvester McCoy, Rita Tushingham, Jake Curran, Ian Kenny, Andrew Ellis

Prd: Alain de la Mata, Christopher Granier-Deferre

DoP: David Ungaro

Music: Paul Frazer, Vincent Welch

Country: UK/Canada

Year: 2020

Runtime:  92 mins

Signature Entertainment presents The Owners is on Digital Platforms 22nd February and DVD 1st March

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Erika Bean

Blogger at screeningviolets.wordpress.com Occasional guest and host on the FILM & PODCAST. New cohost on Mondo Moviehouse. Likes arguing on the beach, long walks on the internet, intersectional feminism and neurodiversity.

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