The Owners is the latest home invasion thriller to mix up elements from previous films that share identical plots. The film is very much a mixture of Don’t Breathe, Villains, and The Visit. Due to that, it doesn’t offer anything that original, but it’s enjoyable for what it has to offer and includes another great performance from Maisie Williams.
While we anxiously wait for the Don’t Breathe sequel to arrive, The Owners is here to remind us to not underestimate the elderly, especially a skilled doctor and his crazed spouse. What start’s off as a robbery quickly turns into an evening of terror. This elderly couple doesn’t take well to intrusion, and these young thieves have made a severe mistake. Directed and co-written by Julius Berg, the film Stars Maisie Williams, Sylvester McCoy, Rita Tushingham, Jake Curran, Andrew Ellis, Ian Kenny, and Stacha Hicks. The Owners follows a group of friends who attempt a robbery, only for the homeowner’s to return sooner than expected. Chaos ensues, as the elderly couple quickly turn the tables on their intruders.
Berg penned the script for this bizarre home invasion film with the help of Mathieu Gompel and Geoff Cox. This is yet another project that offers viewers no indication of who to get behind. We follow Mary (williams), Gaz (Curran), Terry (Ellis), and Nathan (Kenny). A group of friends who have underestimated the couple they are about to terrorize, but they themselves are unlikable characters. The elderly couple, Richard (McCoy) and Ellen Huggins (Tushingham), aren’t as defenseless as the film initially makes them. You’ll find yourself struggling to decide which group of criminals you want to see get the upper hand.
The script does include a few touches of foreshadowing and dialogue that effectively establishes multiple setups and payoffs, which is always a great detail. Also, the writers do a great job at connecting the Huggins to two members from the group of intruders. Hints are sprinkled throughout the script, and there are many nods to what is to come, but it’s almost impossible to predict. Sadly, this twist is too familiar, and not refreshing. It probably won’t warrant the big O. It’s clear they want us to get behind Mary, because she’s the most likable. Also, it helps when Williams is acting her butt off in the role. Mary and Terry are fleshed out as the film progresses, but their friends mostly exist to add to the body count.
McCoy and Tushingham also offer some great performances. When Williams isn’t eating up the scenery, these two are here to fill in and they deliver. Curran, who is only featured in the first half, absolutely embraces his role as Gaz. Gaz is the pompous leader of the intruders, and for the little time we spend with him, Curran makes the most of it. Berg effectively builds tension throughout the film, and doesn’t let up once the Huggins return to their home. The score featured only heightens the unease you will feel for most of the films runtime. The Owners won’t be the most memorable home invasion film, that position is reserved for You’re Next. Still, this is an adequate horror thriller with a few surprises up its sleeve.
The Owners won’t be breaking new ground, but between Williams, McCoy and Tushingham’s acting chops, it will be enough to keep you interested for its 90 minute runtime. Williams is really shining on her own these days, and this project utilizes her better than the recent New Mutants. Despite it’s unlikable characters, the film features a trio of solid performances, and effective tension building, which is more than enough for fans of the genre to be pleased with.