Starring Lin Shaye, Oliver Rayon, Valeska Miller
Directed by Tommy Stovall
If the name Lin Shaye rings a bell to any of you, well RING A DING-DING! This lovely lady has been holding down some memorable roles over the years, and it also bears to mention that she certainly isn’t a stranger to our beloved horror genre. With roles covering films such as the Insidious franchise, A Nightmare On Elm Street and 2001 Maniacs (hell, her first toe-dip into horror’s waters was in 1982’s Alone In The Dark). But enough about the past – we’re here to yap about the future, and Lin’s latest double-duty endeavor (acting and producing) brings forth Room For Rent, a film about a lonely old soul who has more than a bit of a problem letting go once she’s latched on.
Starring as Joyce, Shaye excels in her portrayal of a woman who has lost her long-time hubby in a horrific accident at their home, thus leaving her to pick up the role of provider and it’s not before long that she finds herself in a bit of financial distress. She decides it’s best to rent out the spare room at her casa, and her newest tenant under house management is a mysterious fellow named Bob (Rayon) – sort of a wanderer if you will and now the object of Joyce’s eye…LOOK OUT, BOB! Joyce has always been a bit of an “aficionado” when it comes to those Harlequin romance novels, and lookie here – what she’s always wanted has just roosted under her roof…maybe I should re-word that (sounds a little dirty). Over the course of time, Joyce’s disposition begins to spiral southward from the sweet little lady that we saw in the film’s early stages to something more devious, calculating and for lack of a better word “violent.”
There’s really no secret or “holy shit!” structure to the film – if you can imagine who’s taking care of business here than you should absolutely buy a lottery ticket given your outstanding prognostication skills. The film, while at a scant 80 minutes does have some very slow stretches, but it’s Shaye’s performance that holds this presentation together very tightly, and if you’re a fan of tepid thrillers, you’ll more than likely be under the trance of this one.
Directed by Tommy Stovall (Hate Crime, Aaron’s Blood), the film certainly has its moments that some could find mildly surprising along the thrill-highway, but it never truly hits the accelerator and trucks into the fast lane. I can certainly recommend Room For Rent as a one-nighter, but I think I’d stay away from any long-term rental, no matter how nice the accommodations might happen to be.