Home » Rent-A-Pal: Who Says Friends Can’t be Bought? [Review]

Rent-A-Pal: Who Says Friends Can’t be Bought? [Review]

Just when you thought the film industry was running out of original ideas, filmmaker Jon Stevenson was exploring the weird side of the Internet and stumbled onto a digitized version of an old VHS tape called, “Rent-A-Friend.” The title is self explanatory; need a buddy? Rent one! Hosted by an enigmatic yet charming Sam, Rent-A-Friend offered entertainment, advice, and most importantly, friendship, to lonely people in a pre-digital age. “Who would watch this?!” Stevenson asked himself. The answer to that question would ultimately become Rent-A-Pal.

Rent-A-Pal follows David, a bachelor in 1990 who seeks a partner through a video dating service to get him out his mundane routine of caring for his aging mother. One day he discovers a strange VHS tape called ​Rent-A-Pal. Hosted by the charming and charismatic Andy. The tape offers him much-needed company, compassion, and friendship. But it isn’t long before David discovers Andy’s friendship comes at a cost David may not be able to afford.

Gripping, complex and occasionally claustrophobic, ​Rent-A-Pal is a solid story seeped in nostalgia that’s a blast as well as a deeply engaging study in slow burn intensity.

Also See: Get The Hell Out is a Zombie Comedy That Succeeds at Satire And Splatter [TIFF Review]

Despite lacking the supernatural element the trailer teases (something I was looking forward to), Rent-A-Pal is an interesting take on the conventional decent into madness kind of thriller.

Wicked Rating: 7/10

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Written by Fallon Gannon
A bona fide earthling who finds some comfort in books, movies and coffee. Lots of coffee. Has several bad tattoos and her knowledge of horror movies is probably better than yours but she won't hold it against you; it's proof that she has way too much free time. Currently in limbo but manages to occasionally crawl out of it long enough to write for Geek Girl Authority and Wicked Horror.
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