Tommy Stovall's Room for Rent stars Lin Shaye (Insidious) as a recently widowed housewife. After the sudden death of her husband Joyce goes to the bank to inquire about taking out some money. It’s then that she discovers she is left with only $2,200 in the bank and is responsible for her husbands loan debt of $6,000. In order to pay off the loan and as a means of survival Joyce turns her home into a bed and breakfast. Lin Shaye does a great job portraying Joyce. The character is someone who is lonely, shy, and overall very relatable. This is unfortunately where my positive feedback ends. The plot is very weak and we don’t get to know the characters well enough to be affected by anything that may or may not happen to them. The lonely widow who goes cuckoo bananas scenario has been done and quite frankly it’s been done better than this.
I was really hoping for some character development and grit. I wanted to see Joyce slowly start to spiral out of control but that never really happens. She goes from lonely housewife to Annie Wilkes within a matter of seconds with no real connection behind it. Yes, she lost her husband. Yes, she becomes obsessed with a guest because she’s reading a novel. A novel the librarian even points out she’s read before. Why is she only reacting to this book in this way now? She knows how it ends! I was really expecting to love this movie but unfortunately I don’t. I think someone who is a fan of psychological thrillers and isn’t in the business of writing reviews will enjoy this film. For me it just doesn’t work. I’ve seen films with much smaller budgets produce more intriguing storylines. I give Room for Rent two empty rooms out of five.
Uncork’d Entertainment will release Room for Rent in select theaters on May 3rd, followed by a Digital release on May 7th.