‘The Rental’ is a horror thriller film that follows two couples – Charlie and Michelle and Josh and Mina – who decide to stay in a remote rental with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean for a weekend getaway. Charlie is a businessman who wants to celebrate his success with his wife, Michelle, Charlie’s short-tempered brother who is a former cop, and Josh’s girlfriend Mina, who works with Charlie. As the foursome basks in the beauty of the breathtaking location, while indulging in some ecstasy to lift their spirits, little do they realize that their caretaker, Taylor, is watching their every move.
Things get real pretty quickly when unresolved sexual tension creeps up, coupled with sibling rivalry and a crazy stalker, culminating into a murder. The character-driven indie slasher film is Dave Franco’s feature directorial debut which he has co-written with mumblecore maven, Joe Swanberg. Of course, the classic weekend-getaway-gone-wrong trope makes you wonder if it is somehow inspired by actual events. Let’s find out!
Is The Rental Based on a True Story?
No, the movie is not based on a true story, but there are a few chunks that have been conceived from real-life experiences. First and foremost, the scene where Dave’s wife Alison Brie’s character, Michelle, gets high and ends up roaming around the location all alone, is inspired by a real-life situation that occurred eight and a half years ago, when Dave and Alison Brie first-met to be precise.
On an online episode of ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,’ Brie talked about how she met Dave at the New Orleans airport during Mardi Gras and they ended up having dinner with a mutual friend. One thing led to another and Dave and Alison took lots of Molly and made out for 48 hours. Cut to 2018, the duo decided to take Molly again while researching for the film. Alison ended up taking a lot more than Dave and ended up tripping alone, dancing in the night, all by herself. The scene in the film where Michelle trips on ecstasy, the night after Charlie, Mina and Josh do it, is a reflection of that incident.
The premise of the film focuses upon the sinister chaos that ensues when two couples land at a shady Airbnb, for a few nights of fun. This is influenced by the paranoia that developed in Dave’s psyche, as a result of an unsavory experience he had to go through in the past. During the filming of a movie, Dave had to stay in a gloomy and drab hotel. One night, he woke up to discover a “blotch of dried blood” right next to his face on the sheet he was sleeping on. He frantically checked his body to check whether it was his blood and to his horror, Dave realized that the stain on the sheet belongs to one of the occupants who stayed in the hotel room before him.
Of course, he asked the crew to shift him to a new location after the nightmarish episode. So while the movie isn’t extensively based on a real story, it has been inspired by certain incidents that befell in the life of the co-writer and director, Dave Franco.
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