Three scrotes look to make out like bandits by robbing the safe in an old couple’s house. That’s the initial premise in this shocker that is the feature debut for Julius Berg. The story is loosely based on a French graphic novel Une nuit de pleine lune by Yves H. Hermann, and swings from being tense and traumatic to ludicrous in minutes.
The thugs - Nathan (Ian Kenny), dim-witted Terry (Andrew Ellis), and Gaz (Jake Curran), the latter being a borderline psychopath - are joined inadvertently by Nathan’s girlfriend Mary (Maisie Williams), who just wants the car to get to work. When they can’t get into the safe, Gaz spends time trashing as much as he can while Terry sits and watched Pipkins on the TV. When the titular owners return, things begin to get really nasty. The older couple are played Sylvester McCoy (as a very different type of doctor that we’re used to) and Rita Tushingham (A Taste of Honey), and their reluctance to give up the code for the safe leads them to being tied up under the threat of torture. Over the course of the night, the balance of power takes a severe shift.
Sometimes it’s difficult to enjoy a film including such unlikeable characters, in fact, with The Owners, we’re practically willing them to get their just deserts at the hands of the elders. What happens, though, is something quite different. Rather than painful revenge, there’s something much more sinister at play. McCoy and Tushingham are superb in their roles as the doddery doctor and his wife, who despite suffering from dementia has a vicious streak. Despite being pivotal to the plot, Maisie Williams seems a little underused and isn’t given the chance to display the talent so evident in Game of Thrones. After showing great promise as a cat-and-mouse home invasion caper, the result is a tad muddled and a damp squib, but by no means a disaster.
Release Date: Out Now (VOD) March 1st (DVD) check out our interview with Sylvester McCoy here.