I had read a number of tepid reviews of “The Owners” before I sat down to watch the film. Even with that in mind, I still wanted to see the movie. The reason is because two time Emmy nominee Maisie Williams, of “Game of Thrones” fame, who played Arya Stark, my favorite character in the series, was the film’s lead.
Gaz (Jake Curran), Nathan (Ian Kenny) and Terry (Andrew Ellis) are sitting in a car, in the English Countryside. The trio are surveilling the Huggins residence. Terry’s mother Jean (Stacha Hicks), is the Huggins’ cleaning woman. Terry has informed his friends that there is a safe in the house. He also knows that the Huggins are planning to go out for the evening. The friends wait and watch for the couple to leave. Complicating matters is the arrival of Mary portrayed by the aforementioned Maisie Williams; she is Nathan’s girlfriend. When she learns about what Nathan and his friends are planning, she protests. The friends ignore Mary and she unwittingly gets entangled in their plans.
Once inside the house, the friends go in search of the safe. They eventually find it, but the type of safe it is, is one that Gaz, the friends’ leader, can’t crack. While the friends are working on the safe, the Huggins return home much earlier than expected. In the role of Dr. Richard Huggins is Sylvester McCoy, who played the seventh doctor on the iconic series “Doctor Who.” Dr. Huggins’ wife, Ellen, who is mentally infirm, is portrayed by Golden Globe winner Rita Tushingham (A Taste of Honey).
The friends tie the Huggins up in the basement. The tension mounts as they try to persuade Dr. Huggins to give up the combination to the safe. Gaz is not above outright torture in order to achieve his goal. Having had enough, Mary helps to free the Huggins. The couple, while older and seemingly harmless, however, might not be as helpless as they appear. Has Mary unknowingly put herself and her friends in peril?
“The Owners” was directed by Julius Berg (The Forest). In addition to directing, Berg co-wrote the screenplay for the film with Mathieu Gompel (The Dream Kids). Furthermore, there were creative contributions to the screenplay from Geoff Cox (The Visitor). The film is based on the graphic novel “Une Nuit De Pleine Lune” written by Yves H with illustrations by Hermann Huppen. The graphic novel was published in France by GLENAT on September 14, 2011. On September 2, 2020, the movie premiered in France at the L’Etrange Festival. Parts comedy, crime, horror, mystery and thriller, the film has a runtime of 92 minutes.
“The Owners” wasn’t as bad as some reviewers make it out to be, at least not in my opinion. The film certainly doesn’t break any new cinematic ground, but nor does that appear to be the intention of the filmmakers. From what it seems they were out to make an entertaining home invasion film. Maisie Williams and Sylvester McCoy do admirable jobs with their respective roles. The film doesn’t imply anything in terms of its gore and blood; those aspects of the movie are showcased front and center, which might turn some viewers off. Overall, “The Owners” is a passable film with some very good performances by certain cast members. The movie should appeal to most fans of the horror genre for at least a one-time viewing.