by Patrick Bromley
The Owners, the new thriller from co-writer and director Julius Berg, joins films like Don't Breathe, The People Under the Stairs, and The Collector in the "you broke into the wrong damn house" subgenre. The entries in this particular subgenre may be limited, but the results are almost always the same: bad people doing a bad thing run into trouble when they come across worse people doing worse things. The Owners is no different.
Maisie Williams, who can also currently be seen on movie screens in The New Mutants for those brave enough to venture out to theaters, stars as Mary, a young woman who finds herself wrapped up in a crime when her boyfriend Nathan (Ian Kenny) robs a house with two of his mates. Unfortunately, the owners of the house (Sylvester McCoy and Rita Tushingham) come home in the middle of the robbery, causing everything to go more or less to shit.
There's a real nasty streak that runs through the movie, too, punishing even those characters who might not deserve it as much as some others. There are no rules about who can be hurt and who can't, again adding to the film's unpredictability. Once you realize that the film embraces such nihilism, though, it becomes fairly easy to anticipate where things are going. The Owners is well made and certainly a nasty and mean-spirited piece of work, but pretty underwhelming in what it has to say about the state of the world. We get it; everything's the worst. I only have to open my front door to confirm that. Too bad I can't open my front door. See? Everything's the worst.
The Owners is playing in limited theatrical release and on VOD starting today.