The Owners is available to rent and buy or all major streaming platforms from 22nd February.
I have said it once, and I’ll say it again; we don’t see enough of Sylvestor McCoy on either TV or film. This makes Julius Berg’s new film The Owners all the more enticing. Especially when McCoy is joined by the amazing Rita Tushingham (A Taste of Honey) and Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones). In a creepy home invasion horror based on the French graphic novel Une Nuit de Pleine lune.
Opening with a trio of young men sitting in a smoke-filled car, scoping out a house, deep in the English countryside. The Owners takes no time in introducing us to the childlike Terry (Ellis), his mate, the opportunistic Nathan (Kenny), and the dangerous and volatile Gaz (Curran). Their mission, to rob the exclusive home of Dr Huggin’s (McCoy) and his wife (Tushingham). The reason; a hidden safe containing cash spotted by Terry’s mum, who was employed as the Huggin’s cleaner. But, as the boys wait, Mary (Williams), Nathan’s girlfriend, unexpectedly arrives, becoming an unwitting accomplice to the break-in. However, what starts as a simple burglary, soon spirals out of control. The only way into the safe, located in the basement, a code only the elderly couple can provide. With the burglary descending into a volatile hostage situation with a dark, unexpected twist.
Director Julius Berg does a sterling job of slowly building tension and fear over the films opening fifty minutes. While at the same time employing a raft of tried and tested camera techniques, including adjusting the films aspect ratio to increase a sense of claustrophobia. However, The Owners never quite manages to build on its early strengths by the time we reach the finale. While at the same time, fascinating underlying themes of class, privilege and generational divide ultimately feel underplayed.
However, despite its weaknesses, The Owners is an entertaining slice of horror that shines in the hands of McCoy and Tushingham. Its young cast ensuring a quick, energetic pace, alongside a lively and engaging screenplay. The resulting film a blood-soaked, quirky home invasion horror that never takes itself too seriously. And as a debut feature from Berg, The Owners clearly marks the accomplished arrival of a new voice in horror.