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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 08.08.20] thriller

I had almost forgotten how much weirder and awkward "virtual" dating was before the advent of the internet and then along comes Rent-A-Pal to remind me.

Written and directed by first-time filmmaker Jon Stevenson, Rent-A-Pal stars Brian Landis Folkins as David, a loney guy for his mom and dipping his toe into video dating. While digging through the discount bin, he picks up a video tape titled "Rent-A-Pal," which features Andy Wil Wheton being appropriately creepy, a likeable guy, talking directly into the camera as if he's speaking directly to you.

Soon, David is dating and obsessed with talking with Andy but soon, it seems Andy is speaking directly to David as if he knows what's happening in the man's life; or maybe David is going a bit crazy.

I like the aesthetic here and also that it's not quite clear whether this is a horror movie or more of a psychological thriller. Either way, I'm curious to see how this plays out.

Rent-A-Pal will open in select theatres and be available on demand on September 11.

Recommended Release: The Ring

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