Today I am going to be reviewing an extremely underrated horror movie titled: Rent-A-Pal. I really want to make better use of my Shudder subscription, so I have decided to watch/review one film per month from the aforementioned spooky streaming service. Released in 2020, but set in the 1990’s, the story follows David, a lonely man who cares for his unwell mother full-time. While seeking a partner through a video dating service, he discovers a strange VHS tape called Rent-A-Pal. Hosted by the charming and charismatic Andy (played by Wil Wheaton), the tape offers him much-needed company, compassion, and friendship. But Andy’s friendship comes at a cost, and David desperately struggles to afford the price of admission. Without further ado, let’s get into my honest thoughts!
How about everything?! This story really touches on the dangers of loneliness and how desperate we can become when company is lacking. The performances from both the main men were phenomenal. I’m used to seeing Wil Wheaton in The Big Bang Theory, so watching him take on this dark, twisted role really showed his range as an actor. What I loved most was the ambiguous ending. We never receive confirmation on whether David devolved into an actual lunatic or if Andy had manipulated him into madness. I’m such a fan of the transformation trope in horror. There’s nothing more fascinating than witnessing a character become a completely different person by the end. I also thought setting the story in the 90’s was a great touch. It was an era untouched by smart devices, when it was much more difficult to connect. David hangs on to every word Andy says, believing that they are best friends. You could feel his despair as the lines between reality and fantasy began to blur. It’s the perfect psychological thriller that will leave you thinking.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK:
Honestly, I really don’t have a negative thing to say about this film. It is one of the best things I’ll watch this year.
OVERALL STAR RATING:
I gave it 5/5 stars. I highly recommend it.
Thank you so much for reading! Have you seen Rent-A-Pal? What did you think of it? I’ll be back to review another Shudder feature next month!
Peace & Love xoxo