The Owners: Film Review

The Owners

As a fan of Maisie Williams, I thought I’d give The Owners – the first film she shot after completing Game of Thrones – a try but I wish I hadn’t bothered. It’s a classic case of a great idea being failed by poor execution.

Williams plays Mary, whose boyfriend Nathan (Ian Kenny) takes her car to use as a getaway vehicle for a burglary so she catches up with him on a bike to scold him for making her late for work and inadvertently gets involved in the scheme too. Nathan, Gaz (Jake Curran), and Terry (Andrew Ellis) wait for Dr. Richard Huggins (Sylvester McCoy) and his wife Ellen (Rita Tushingham) to go out and they break into their mansion to steal their money. They’re unable to unlock the safe so decide to wait for the Hugginses to return so they can forcefully make them give over the code, but they soon discover they aren’t to be messed with, as they turn the tables on the trespassers.

I loved the concept of the film and director/co-writer Julius Berg had some great ideas but they weren’t fleshed out enough. A lot of time was given to the crew yelling among each other as their plan goes to hell when I would have preferred more time to have been dedicated to delving deeper into the Hugginses’ past. It’s obvious that they’re not who they say they are and they are hiding a sinister secret and that’s far more interesting. Even though we found out eventually, the reveal happened so quickly – it warranted a bigger moment than it was given – that I couldn’t really process it and I would have liked more of an explanation.

The screenplay needed much more work to elevate the characters beyond one-dimensional stereotypes and the ending shouldn’t have been so rushed, but Berg does well in creating an unnerving atmosphere once the Huggins duo is back in control. You can tell they’re weird and absolutely crazy but they’re a complete mystery so you have no idea what they’re capable of. I was expecting the film to go to a much darker, more gruesome place and horror fans may come away disappointed with the lack of jumps, scares, and gore.

Williams is the most likeable of the crew but that’s not saying much since her boyfriend is a dick, his mate is a psycho, and his other mate is a wet flannel. She puts her all into the role but I wish there was a bit more to her character. McCoy was excellent as the sinister doctor and Tushingham has the most terrifying eyes so they were very well cast and the stars of the show.

If you’re a diehard Williams fan, feel free to give this a whirl, but otherwise I’d advise you to skip it.

Available on DVD now

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

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