The film is a horror thriller, which is loosely based on the French graphic novel “Une Nuit De Pleine Lune” by artist Hermann and writer Yves H, serves as the foundation for the feature debut of French director Julius Berg after directing several French TV series, including the Netflix projects La Forêt and Osmosis; here he’s assisted by Mathieu Gompel and participation by Geoff Cox (High Life [2018]), who attempt to explore multiple dynamics within the interactions of the characters. The story does involve a twist on the home invasion subgenre, for many of our homes regardless of size or location are our private sanctuaries holding our prize possessions our families, and for others that is material items, and many in society have formulated plans on how to defend them from outsiders. Nevertheless, once the action goes inside there’s a myriad of possibilities, such in You’re Next [2011] and Don’t Breathe [2016], this flick brings some bloodshed; yet never strives to the same level of these two movies, respecting its own limits, which earned distribution from RLJE Films.

Three hooligans observing a distant home in the countryside, waiting for an elderly couple Doctor Huggins (Sylvester McCoy (Slumber [2017])) and his often-confused wife Ellen (Rita Tushingham) to vacate the premises, all based on info from one of their mothers who cleans the home, she mentioned it in passing, after being nonchalantly informed by the owners. The gang headed by Gaz (Jake Curran), aided by his buddies Terry (Andrew Ellis) and Nathan (Ian Kenny) find themselves soon joined by Nathan’s girlfriend Mary (Maisie Williams) though as an unwilling partner. Soon the couple leave for some evening enjoyment in town and in springs the team of awkwardness, they can’t figure what to do exactly, supposedly they thought money and jewels adorn their home; until they stumble upon a wall safe which ensues more chaos, what could have appeared comical boils over into taking the couple hostage when they return home. I need to avoid the second part of the film for the most part, because continuing onward will give away too much of the plot, however a little never hurts, there’s plenty of screaming, limb smashing gory delight fun. One should note, the crafty and persuasive autoreactive mannerism of Dr, Richard Huggins, McCoy does an exceptional performance of his calming tone to his intruders and soothing his alarmed wife Helen. Tushingham exudes the careful balance while not over-acting the dementia aspect allowing her flights of fancy for their own thrilling world and sinister realities to glimmer as a dance of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

So often the home invasion storylines, focus on the young couple out in the country or a young woman home alone, to someone with a disabilities i.e. blind person, lately they have transitioned to the self-reliant or elderly. Some critics, panned this movie because of the older couple battling the young punks, but it misses the point, they are truly a unified gang, rather 3-guys with disjointed motives, the couple has the bond, they’ve been through good and bad times, and understand each other’s tone, mentality and know to give the good fight. In pure observation, the elderly especially in UK, understand hardship more than the younger generation, having been through WW II and living in uncertainty, things weren’t a smartphone away, rather serious work needed for survival skills. All this works and weaves its way through a thrilling tale before layering in the disturbing horror elements. If you decide to purchase the movie, look for the Blu-ray the special feature contains an interesting Making of and add-on, these are always fascinating for aspiring filmmakers especially directors but also to set designers and other trades in the business.

Unlike many horror films today this one doesn’t layer it itself with hidden references, rather it goes for the jugular in the second half by a straight-forward approach, while taking some subtle cues from Don’t Breathe. There’s a bit of grossness, some horrific screams, and mental anguish though not thoroughly concentrated in solely psychological puzzle story pieces, why you may wonder because The Owners’ tell their own story.

IMDb Rating: 4.7/10

Baron’s Rating: 5.0/10