Film Review: The Owners (2020)

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SYNOPSIS:

A gang of losers decide to break into a house to steal the money that is supposedly hidden somewhere inside. Unfortunately, the elderly owners who live there come home in the middle of everything, and they aren’t quite as helpless as they seem. Based on the graphic novel Une nuit de pleine lune.

REVIEW:

I wasn’t familiar with The Owners or the graphic novel that it is based on before I saw it, but I thought it sounded like it might be decent. When I heard about it, it immediately made me think of Don’t Breathe so I was intrigued. It moves at a much slower pace and isn’t nearly as good as Don’t Breathe, but I still enjoyed it for what it was.

The plot is straight forward and isn’t overly complicated. A group of thugs break into a house while the owners are away to steal some money that one of them claims is inside. The girlfriend of one of the thugs eventually shows up, and while they are in the middle of searching for the money the elderly couple that lives there comes home, only to be taken hostage by the group. In-fighting starts to take place between the members of the group and one of them shows that he is the worst of the worst while the others start to change their minds about taking the money. Before you know it, the group turn on the “bad” member after he stabs one of the others and they end up letting the couple go (after dealing with the most negative guy in the group). It turns out though, the couple isn’t quite what they seem and are anything but helpless, resulting in the remaining members of the group (especially the girlfriend) living to regret their decision of breaking into the house in the first place.

As I said earlier, while The Owners pales in comparison to the superior Don’t Breathe it is still an enjoyable movie and worth checking out for several reasons. I enjoyed the plot, liked the characters, and thought that the ending was awesome. The cast is particularly good and there was just something about the film that I liked in general. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t without its flaws though, which I will get to in just a moment. For the most part though, I thought that it was a decent movie and was able to look past the things about it that just don’t work for the most part. I hope that other viewers out there feel the same say or they won’t enjoy the movie as much as they should as a result.

The biggest issue I had with The Owners is that it moves very, very slowly. I’m talking at like a snail’s pace here. It takes forever for things to finally get going and there is way too much time spent on the members of the group sitting around the couple’s house before they arrive talking, arguing, and even watching TV at one point. Things don’t pick up until very late in the movie and I have a feeling that the viewers out there that have a short attention span will end up giving up on it before the good stuff starts to take place (I’ll admit that I almost did a couple of times and glad that I didn’t). I think that some of the more uninteresting scenes involving the group could have been edited out to help things flow a little better and that the film could have gotten to the point that the couple wasn’t what they seemed a little sooner. Even after the couple are freed it still takes what seems like forever for them to do anything remotely interesting in my opinion. I get that it is supposed to be a slow burn kind of movie but at the same time I think it burns a lot slower than it should have.

I was also a little let down by the lack of blood and gore. I know that it wasn’t supposed to be a full-blown slasher flick, but I was expecting just a tad bit more. We only get some stabbings and a gut getting hit in the head with a blunt object and that is the extent of it. I was hoping that the couple would go all out ala the parents in Last House on the Left at one point but sadly it just wasn’t to be. If you’re a fan of bloody death scenes and disturbing gore like I am then you are ultimately going to be disappointed in this movie because it is almost non-existent for the most part.

I dug The Owners despite some of its problems. I thought that the acting was great, especially on the part of Maisie Williams, who really stands out among the cast. Her character isn’t exactly a horrible person like some of the other members of her group and it is obvious that she doesn’t’ want to hurt the elderly couple, so you can’t help but root for her to make it to the end of the film in one piece. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I also have to say that I really dug the ending and thought that it was a nice touch. If you’re in the mood for something a little different give The Owners a shot sometime. I think that you will be glad that you did.

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