Home-invasion thriller ‘The Owners’ not worthy of Williams

by KB Burke on September 4, 2020

in Print Reviews,Reviews

[Rating: Minor Rock Fist Down]

In theaters, on demand and digital Sept. 4, 2020.

It must be hard to come off an ultra-successful show like Game of Thrones and find any work similar to that level. This is the challenge for Maisie Williams.

The actress gets top billing in the French graphic novel adaptation The Owners, but it pales in comparison to her role of Arya Stark. Here she plays a girlfriend whose boyfriend—along with two other dumb wannabe thieves—tries to rob a house … the wrong house.

While the premise has promise, the execution is weak. The typical array features three bumbling blokes trying to get easy money from an elderly doctor and his wife. One (Andrew Ellis) is simple-minded. Another (Jake Curran) is the madman with the plan. And Mary’s (Williams) boyfriend (Ian Kenny) just wants to get paid.

The tables are turned quickly (and unfortunately early) in the film and there it begins to unravel for director Julius Berg and co-writer Matthieu Gompel. The rest of the film falls apart with extended scenes that try to keep the audience guessing if the lovely old couple, convincingly played by Sylvester McCoy (The Hobbit movies) and Rita Tushingham, is really kind and defenseless.

The slow burn of the script reveals all of the characters’ mental fallacies, which is the true horror here and the only saving grace of the movie. The occasional gory imagery interspersed tries to make it a great thrill ride but ultimately fails because everything is so slow, even for a 92-minute movie. One thing I did like was the well-timed changes of aspect ratios. It added to the classic thriller motif the film was going for and was more interesting than almost anything else in the plot.

In the end… and what a bizarre ending that was, I wanted so much more for this home-invasion thriller than what it delivered. Maisie Williams deserves better roles than this.

I ended up coming away with an observation and a question: I will never hear a certain classic English nursery rhyme in the same way again.

And are Nokia phones still the thing in West London? I’m just wondering.

KB is a native New Yorker/Midwest transplant who’s into tech, sports, and the arts, especially film and music. He still aspires to be a DJ in his other life. You can frequently catch him watching Hitchcock classics, film noir, and anything Star Wars.

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