It’s been a while since I’ve watched a thriller with intentional humor in the mix. I knew from the start that The Estate was a dark comedy, and it delivered beyond my expectations.
George (Chris Baker) and his young stepmother, Lux (Eliza Coupe), are used to a life of luxury. George’s father, Marcello (Eric Roberts) has left them to their own devices in one of his mansions for the summer. It seems that Marcello has not been meeting their monetary needs, and the pair describe themselves as “destitute”.
With their life of luxury in danger of burnout, the two befriend a hitman named Joe (Greg Finley) after a night out. Intent on killing the patriarch to obtain his estate, their plan doesn’t go accordingly. Soon they are entangled in a love triangle with Joe and encounter several roadblocks on their mission for wealth and status.
This film surprised me. I knew it would be campy and mistakenly set the bar a bit low in my mind before watching. While it definitely fits that description at times, it’s a solid story overall.
The characters fit stereotypical roles but that’s likely by design. And the acting is great; the performances made for a more engaging viewing experience. It’s definitely a satire with commentary on wealth, status, and validation, and there are no subtle messages here. Whether a scene is meant to be comedic or serious, the characters’ greed and warped values are on display.
I loved the aesthetic, from the wardrobe to the setting. The colors, soundtrack, and character types all gave off some vibes that reminded me of throwback favorites such as Heathers, Clueless and Cruel Intentions.
With a runtime just shy of 90-minutes, The Estate is fast-paced and fun. While I would’ve enjoyed even more blatant comedic moments, there were still a handful of instances where I chuckled aloud. The film moved quickly and had enough dramatic and suspenseful moments to avoid losing my interest. I was impressed to discover several twists in the plot, but nothing too complicated that took away from the story.
If you’re in the mood for a thriller with a lighthearted side, I’d recommend checking this out. This is director James Kapner’s first feature-length film, and it’s a great debut. I look forward to more of Kapner’s work and also would be interested in writer/actor Chris Baker’s future projects.
The Estate is available in theaters and on VOD now!
WICKED RATING: 8 out of 10