Writer: Stuart Flack (Screenplay)
Starring: Lin Shaye, Oliver Rayon, Valeska Miller, Ryan Ochoa, Linda Cushma, Casey Nicholas Price
Plot: Lonely widow Joyce rents out a room in her house and becomes dangerously obsessed with one of her guests.
Tagline – All she wanted was a decent man.
Runtime: 1 Hour 21 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Lin Shaye is Truly Unsettling
Story: Room for Rent starts when Joyce (Shaye) loses her husband, feeling left alone in her house that she needs to pay for the debt left behind, she decides to open her own Bed n Breakfast in her home. Her first guests are a couple which sees her become friends with Sarah (Miller) helping her with her problems.
Learning from her early mistakes with her bed n breakfast, Joyce upgrades certain parts and starts searching for more guests with Bob (Rayon) being her next one. Joyce starts to get an unhealth obsession with her guest who helps her deal with problems including the local teenage troublemakers Wayne (Ochoa). Will Joyce obsession take things too far or not?
Thoughts on Room for Rent
Characters – Joyce is an older lady that has lived her life with her husband for years, her husband dies which leads to her feeling lonely wanting attention. She is considered strange in her town, she turns her home into a bed n breakfast in an attempt to make new friends which she does, even if she starts to become obsessed with one of her guest, acting like a school girl trying to impress him. Bob is her first long term guest that Joyce takes in, he is mysterious about his personal life and does grab the attention of Joyce, he will stand up for Joyce with the local troublemakers. Sarah is the first guest that Joyce gets, she is an author working on her latest book which sees her need to decide on her own future, she stays in contact with Joyce becoming a pen-pal and visiting when Bob has been staying long enough, seeing how Joyce is acting differently.
Performances – Lin Shaye is fantastic in this role, we are left truly unsettled by here performance which sees her making decisions which seem odd. Oliver Rayon is left looking confused by Joyce’s character which is needed for the film. Valeska Miller completes the supporting cast with a performance that doesn’t do anything wrong.
Story – The story here follows a lonely widow that opens her house to guests, only for her to become obsessed with one of them, making up her own stories to what is happening between the two. This story does make us feel unsettled throughout, we see Joyce become more obsessed with each passing moment, acting like a school girl trying to grab the attention of her crush. It must be pointed out there is a hint of grief of losing a life partner, which could see anybody do something out of the normal. The story does suffer in places because we get the ideas of certain side stories to why Joyce is the way she is, only they don’t seem to get completed to the most satisfactory levels for us.
Thriller – The film doesn’t take long to build up the tension because Lin Shaye makes her character feel like she could be up to anything in the film.
Settings – Most of the film is set in the home, it does feel disturbing when you know how Joyce could always pop up somewhere.
Final Thoughts – This is one of the more disturbing and unsettling movies of the year, even though it doesn’t pull all the triggers it could.
Overall: Unsettling and chilling.